Concluding a two-year bipartisan investigation, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., released a 635-page final report on Thursday detailing what it called key causes of the recent financial crisis. According to Levin, “The report catalogs conflicts of interest, heedless risk-taking and failures of federal oversight that helped push the country into the deepest recession since the Great Depression.”
“High risk lending, regulatory failures, inflated credit ratings, and Wall Street firms engaging in massive conflicts of interest, contaminated the U.S. financial system with toxic mortgages and undermined public trust in U.S. markets,” Levin said in a statement. “Using their own words in documents subpoenaed by the Subcommittee, the report discloses how financial firms deliberately took advantage of their clients and investors, how credit rating agencies assigned AAA ratings to high risk securities, and how regulators sat on their hands instead of reining in the unsafe and unsound practices all around them.”
When announcing the release of the report, Levin also specifically criticized Goldman Sachs for its role in selling mortgage-backed securities while at the same time taking short positions in their own portfolio.