Heute beginnt in Washington die „Inquisition zur Finanzkrise“ (incl. Link zur Liveübertragung)

by Dirk Elsner on 13. Januar 2010

image

Lloyd Blankfein (Chef von Goldman Sachs, Archiv 2009)

Ok, ok. inquiry darf man nicht mit Inquisition übersetzen, jedoch lädt der Wortstamm irgendwie dazu ein und der etymologische Stamm der Begriffe Inquisition und inquiry weist auf die sprachgenetische Herkunft vom lateinischen Begriff inquisitio hin. In jedem Fall startet heute im Logworth House Office Building in Washington die erste Anhörung der “Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission”. Das ist ein Untersuchungsausschuss, der die Ursachen der Finanzkrise aufdecken soll (Rechtsgrundlage ist der Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, der entsprechende Gesetzestext ist in SEC 5 dieses Dokuments nachzulesen.

Die Webseite der Kommission ist mittlerweile online. Das Livebild gibt es hier für Windows Player (weitere unten). Die Stellungnahmen der “Zeugen” sind bereits vor Sitzungsbeginn auf dieser Seite verfügbar. Die tatsächlichen Stellungnahmen können davon natürlich abweichen. Einen Live-Blog gibt es von der New York Times.

Die Gäste-, sorry, die Zeugenliste verspricht jedenfalls schon einmal einen interessanten Auftakt. Und anderem sind dabei Lloyd Blankfein (Chef von Goldman Sachs), Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase), John J. Mack (Morgan Stanley) und Brian Moynihan (Bank of America). Die komplette Zeugenliste der ersten beiden Tage gibt es hier von der Huffington Post.

Spannend wird es weniger, weil neue Erkenntnisse aus dem Kick-Off erwartet werden, sondern weil ich gespannt bin, wie die Bankchefs sich rhetorisch von ihren PR-Beratern haben vorbereiten lassen auf eine Veranstaltung, die in den US-Medien hohe Aufmerksamkeit erfährt. Bekanntlich stehen einige Institute unter erheblichen Druck, weil sie nicht wissen, wie sie die ihren Managern und Mitarbeitern versprochenen Bonuszahlungen einer immer noch empörten Öffentlichkeit gegenüber rechtfertigen sollen. Die hohen Bonusbeträge sind vor allem deswegen umstritten, weil die ihnen zugrunde liegenden hohen Erträge einiger Institute nicht den Leistungen des Managements oder der Mitarbeiter zugerechnet werden können. Erst die staatlichen Hilfen sowie die implizite Bestandsgarantie für systemrelevante Finanzinstitute haben die Rekonvaleszenz der Institute ermöglicht (siehe dazu auch die Videobeiträge auf dieser Seite und zahlreiche weitere Beiträge zur Bonusdebatte hier). Besonders in der Schusslinie wird hier Goldman Sachs stehen, die nach Presseberichten im Schnitt 595.000 Dollar an Bonus zahlen wollen.

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James Dimon (JPMorgan Chase, Archiv 2009)

Spiegel Online bezeichnet diesen Ausschuss als “Aufklärungszirkus mit Top-Managern”. Ich halte diese Attribuierung  für ungerechtfertigt, denn immerhin findet in den USA überhaupt eine parlamentarische Aufarbeitung der Ursachen der Finanzkrise statt. Laut der American Banking News soll der Ausschuss 22 verschiedene Themen im Zusammenhang mit der Finanzkrise klären (Details siehe unten in der Gesetzesgrundlage).

Dem deutschen Parlament fehlt offenbar die Mut, die Ursachen der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise in ähnlicher Weise aufzuarbeiten. Böswillig könnte ich auch behaupten, die Parlamentarier erwarten aktuell keine politischen Vorteile durch einen solchen Untersuchungsausschuss. Dabei ist es allerhöchste Zeit angesichts der Milliardenrisiken, die die Steuerzahler tragen, die Ursachenanalyse nicht allein Medien und überforderten Wirtschaftswissenschaftlern (siehe zu der Überforderung diesen Beitrag von Olaf Storbeck) zu überlassen. Aber offenbar stimmt doch die These, dass nur dann Untersuchungsausschüsse gefordert werden, wenn der politische Gegner diskreditiert werden oder man sich selbst profilieren kann. Sehr durchsichtig und bedauerlich.

Auch die weiteren Sitzungen des Ausschusses versprechen interessanten Anschauungsunterricht in Sachen Schuldzuweisung. Die Kommission hat nach Angaben von Spiegel Online “frühere Top-Manager der untergegangenen Investmenthäuser Lehman Brothers und Bear Stearns vorgeladen, Vertreter der Hypothekenbanken Fannie Mae und Freddie Mac, die tief in die Krise verstrickt waren, sowie Manager des Versicherungsgiganten AIG, dessen Fast-Kollaps beinahe die gesamte Weltfinanz mitgerissen hätte. Später sollen auch US-Finanzminister Timothy Geithner, Notenbankchef Ben Bernanke und Vorgänger Alan Greenspan die Zeugenbank drücken.”

Wer vorab einmal sehen will, wie eine solche Veranstaltung ablaufen könnte, der kann sich diesen aufgezeichneten Webcast eines Hearings vom 11.2.2009 zum TARP ansehen. Drei der vier oben genannten Teilnehmer war schon damals dabei (alle Details sind hier nachzusehen und zu lesen, incl. eines umfangreichen Protokolls).

Wie der Economist die Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission zur Weltwirtschaftskrise (Pecora Commission) der 30er Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts bewertet, kann hier nachgelesen werden. An den Pecora-Ausschuss erinnert Markus Gärtner in seinem Blog:

„Pecora war gefürchtet, ein Mann der es verstand, aus der Untersuchung ein nationales Drama zu machen, lange bevor in jedem US-Haushalt ein Fernseher stand. Pecoras Arbeit förderte genügend Material zutage, um dutzendweise Verurteilungen, Gefängnisstrafen zu erzwingen und – in der Konsequenz – auch zum New Deal mit dem Glass-Steagall-Act (Trennung von Investment- und Geschäftsbanken) und der Gründung der Securities and Exchange Commission.“

Diesmal bestehen erhebliche Zweifel, dass die Ergebnisse des Ausschusses so weit wie in den 30er Jahren führen. Die Finanzhäuser werden gut vorbereitet in die Befragungen gehen. Und angesichts des anhaltenden Streits unter Fachleuten über die tatsächlichen Ursachen der Finanzkrise, ist kaum mit nennenswerten Konsequenzen zu rechnen.

Dennoch, 40 bis 50 Fachleute sind laut CNN mit den Untersuchungen beauftragt. Das zur Verfügung stehende Budget ist mit 8 Mill US$  Mio US$ höher als die 9/11-Untersuchung. Und mittlerweile dürfte klar sein, dass man angesichts der bislang erfolglosen Versuche, eine neue Finanzordnung zu etablieren (siehe dazu diese Artikelübersicht), zumindest ein öffentlichkeitswirksames Spektakel braucht, um als Regierung nicht komplett dem Vorwurf der Handlungsunfähigkeit ausgesetzt zu sein.

Links zur Liveübertragung ab

Ab 15.00 Uhr MEZ (9.00 Uhr Eastern) C-SPAN2:

Stream via  Flash  Windows Real

Weitere Livestream sind möglich über CNNLive und über die Website der Kommission.

Links zu der archivierten Aufzeichnung werden nach Beendigung und bei Verfügbarkeit in diesen Artikel eingefügt.

Das Programm gem. FCIC Webseite

First Public Hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Day 1:

Panel 1: Financial Institution Representatives

Panel 2: Financial Market Participants

Panel 3: Financial Crisis Impacts on the Economy

Vorberichterstattung zum US-Finanzkrisenausschuss

Spon: Aufklärungszirkus mit Top-Managern

MG: Was bringt die am Mittwoch beginnende parlamentarische Aufarbeitung des Finanzdesasters? (11.1.10)

Reuters: US-Regierung verschärft Kurs gegen Bankenbranche

Dealbook: What the Financial Crisis Commission Should Ask

NYT: For Bankers, Saying ‘Sorry’ Has Its Perils

NYT: Wall St. Pay Is a Focus of Many in Washington

HP: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: A User’s Guide

WSJ: Here’s Your Chance To Grill Blankfein, Dimon, And Other Wall Street CEOs

BI: 10 Questions A Financial Inquiry Commission MUST Ask

NYT: The Other Plot to Wreck America

Zero Hedge: Ten Questions For The Bankers

Time: Hearings to Begin on Causes of Financial Crisis

Big Picture: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Gisnap: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Sets Sights On Bankers

Bloomberg: Dimon, Blankfein, Mack Among First to Testify at Crisis Panel

Webeite eines Mitglieds der Kommission: KeithHennessey.com mit 20 questions for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Gesetzliche Grundlage
SEC. 5. FINANCIAL CRISIS INQUIRY COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment of Commission.--There is established in the
legislative branch the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (in this
section referred to as the ``Commission'') to examine the causes,
domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the
United States.
    (b) Composition of the Commission.--
            (1) Members.--The Commission shall be composed of 10
        members, of whom--
                    (A) 3 members shall be appointed by the majority
                leader of the Senate, in consultation with relevant
                Committees;
                    (B) 3 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of
                the House of Representatives, in consultation with
                relevant Committees;

[[Page 123 STAT. 1625]]

                    (C) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority
                leader of the Senate, in consultation with relevant
                Committees; and
                    (D) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority
                leader of the House of Representatives, in consultation
                with relevant Committees.
            (2) Qualifications; limitation.--
                    (A) In general.--It is the sense of the Congress
                that individuals appointed to the Commission should be
                prominent United States citizens with national
                recognition and significant depth of experience in such
                fields as banking, regulation of markets, taxation,
                finance, economics, consumer protection, and housing.
                    (B) Limitation.--No person who is a member of
                Congress or an officer or employee of the Federal
                Government or any State or local government may serve as
                a member of the Commission.
            (3) Chairperson; vice chairperson.--
                    (A) In general.--Subject to the requirements of
                subparagraph (B), the Chairperson of the Commission
                shall be selected jointly by the Majority Leader of the
                Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
                and the Vice Chairperson shall be selected jointly by
                the Minority Leader of the Senate and the Minority
                Leader of the House of Representatives.
                    (B) Political party affiliation.--The Chairperson
                and Vice Chairperson of the Commission may not be from
                the same political party.
            (4) Meetings, quorum; vacancies.--
                    (A) Meetings.--
                          (i) Initial meeting.--The initial meeting of
                      the Commission shall be as soon as possible after
                      a quorum of members have been appointed.
                          (ii) Subsequent meetings.--After the initial
                      meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall
                      meet upon the call of the Chairperson or a
                      majority of its members.
                    (B) Quorum.--6 members of the Commission shall
                constitute a quorum.
                    (C) Vacancies.--Any vacancy on the Commission
                shall--
                          (i) not affect the powers of the Commission;
                      and
                          (ii) be filled in the same manner in which the
                      original appointment was made.

    (c) Functions of the Commission.--The functions of the Commission
are--
            (1) to examine the causes of the current financial and
        economic crisis in the United States, specifically the role of--
                    (A) fraud and abuse in the financial sector,
                including fraud and abuse towards consumers in the
                mortgage sector;
                    (B) Federal and State financial regulators,
                including the extent to which they enforced, or failed
                to enforce statutory, regulatory, or supervisory
                requirements;
                    (C) the global imbalance of savings, international
                capital flows, and fiscal imbalances of various
                governments;
                    (D) monetary policy and the availability and terms
                of credit;

[[Page 123 STAT. 1626]]

                    (E) accounting practices, including, mark-to-market
                and fair value rules, and treatment of off-balance sheet
                vehicles;
                    (F) tax treatment of financial products and
                investments;
                    (G) capital requirements and regulations on leverage
                and liquidity, including the capital structures of
                regulated and non-regulated financial entities;
                    (H) credit rating agencies in the financial system,
                including, reliance on credit ratings by financial
                institutions and Federal financial regulators, the use
                of credit ratings in financial regulation, and the use
                of credit ratings in the securitization markets;
                    (I) lending practices and securitization, including
                the originate-to-distribute model for extending credit
                and transferring risk;
                    (J) affiliations between insured depository
                institutions and securities, insurance, and other types
                of nonbanking companies;
                    (K) the concept that certain institutions are ``too-
                big-to-fail'' and its impact on market expectations;
                    (L) corporate governance, including the impact of
                company conversions from partnerships to corporations;
                    (M) compensation structures;
                    (N) changes in compensation for employees of
                financial companies, as compared to compensation for
                others with similar skill sets in the labor market;
                    (O) the legal and regulatory structure of the United
                States housing market;
                    (P) derivatives and unregulated financial products
                and practices, including credit default swaps;
                    (Q) short-selling;
                    (R) financial institution reliance on numerical
                models, including risk models and credit ratings;
                    (S) the legal and regulatory structure governing
                financial institutions, including the extent to which
                the structure creates the opportunity for financial
                institutions to engage in regulatory arbitrage;
                    (T) the legal and regulatory structure governing
                investor and mortgagor protection;
                    (U) financial institutions and government-sponsored
                enterprises; and
                    (V) the quality of due diligence undertaken by
                financial institutions;
            (2) to examine the causes of the collapse of each major
        financial institution that failed (including institutions that
        were acquired to prevent their failure) or was likely to have
        failed if not for the receipt of exceptional Government
        assistance from the Secretary of the Treasury during the period
        beginning in August 2007 through April 2009;
            (3) to submit a report under subsection (h);
            (4) to refer to the Attorney General of the United States
        and any appropriate State attorney general any person that the
        Commission finds may have violated the laws of the United States
        in relation to such crisis; and

[[Page 123 STAT. 1627]]

            (5) to build upon the work of other entities, and avoid
        unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the record of the
        Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate,
        the Committee on Financial Services of the House of
        Representatives, other congressional committees, the Government
        Accountability Office, other legislative panels, and any other
        department, agency, bureau, board, commission, office,
        independent establishment, or instrumentality of the United
        States (to the fullest extent permitted by law) with respect to
        the current financial and economic crisis.

    (d) Powers of the Commission.--
            (1) Hearings and evidence.--The Commission may, for purposes
        of carrying out this section--
                    (A) hold hearings, sit and act at times and places,
                take testimony, receive evidence, and administer oaths;
                and
                    (B) require, by subpoena or otherwise, the
                attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production
                of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers,
                and documents.
            (2) Subpoenas.--
                    (A) Service.--Subpoenas issued under paragraph
                (1)(B) may be served by any person designated by the
                Commission.
                    (B) Enforcement.--
                          (i) In general.--In the case of contumacy or
                      failure to obey a subpoena issued under paragraph
                      (1)(B), the United States district court for the
                      judicial district in which the subpoenaed person
                      resides, is served, or may be found, or where the
                      subpoena is returnable, may issue an order
                      requiring such person to appear at any designated
                      place to testify or to produce documentary or
                      other evidence. Any failure to obey the order of
                      the court may be punished by the court as a
                      contempt of that court.
                          (ii) Additional enforcement.--
                      Sections <<NOTE: Applicability.>> 102 through 104
                      of the Revised Statutes of the United States (2
                      U.S.C. 192 through 194) shall apply in the case of
                      any failure of any witness to comply with any
                      subpoena or to testify when summoned under the
                      authority of this section.
                          (iii) Issuance.--A subpoena may be issued
                      under this subsection only--
                                    (I) by the agreement of the
                                Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson; or
                                    (II) by the affirmative vote of a
                                majority of the Commission, including an
                                affirmative vote of at least one member
                                appointed under subparagraph (C) or (D)
                                of subsection (b)(1), a majority being
                                present.
            (3) Contracting.--The Commission may enter into contracts to
        enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this
        section.
            (4) Information from federal agencies and other entities.--
                    (A) In general.--The Commission may secure directly
                from any department, agency, bureau, board, commission,

[[Page 123 STAT. 1628]]

                office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of
                the United States any information related to any inquiry
                of the Commission conducted under this section,
                including information of a confidential nature (which
                the Commission shall maintain in a secure manner). Each
                such department, agency, bureau, board, commission,
                office, independent establishment, or instrumentality
                shall furnish such information directly to the
                Commission upon request.
                    (B) Other entities.--It is the sense of the Congress
                that the Commission should seek testimony or information
                from principals and other representatives of government
                agencies and private entities that were significant
                participants in the United States and global financial
                and housing markets during the time period examined by
                the Commission.
            (5) Administrative support services.--Upon the request of
        the Commission--
                    (A) the Administrator of General Services shall
                provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the
                administrative support services necessary for the
                Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this
                Act; and
                    (B) other Federal departments and agencies may
                provide to the Commission any administrative support
                services as may be determined by the head of such
                department or agency to be advisable and authorized by
                law.
            (6) Donations of goods and services.--The Commission may
        accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or
        property.
            (7) Postal services.--The Commission may use the United
        States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as
        departments and agencies of the United States.
            (8) Powers of subcommittees, members, and agents.--Any
        subcommittee, member, or agent of the Commission may, if
        authorized by the Commission, take any action which the
        Commission is authorized to take by this section.

    (e) Staff of the Commission.--
            (1) Director.--The Commission shall have a Director who
        shall be appointed by the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson,
        acting jointly.
            (2) Staff.--The Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson may
        jointly appoint additional personnel, as may be necessary, to
        enable the Commission to carry out its functions.
            (3) Applicability of certain civil service laws.--The
        Director and staff of the Commission may be appointed without
        regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code,
        governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be
        paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and
        subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to
        classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no
        rate of pay fixed under this paragraph may exceed the equivalent
        of that payable for a position at level V of the Executive
        Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code. Any
        individual appointed under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be treated
        as an employee for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87,
        89, 89A, 89B, and 90 of that title.
            (4) Detailees.--Any Federal Government employee may be
        detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from

[[Page 123 STAT. 1629]]

        the Commission, and such detailee shall retain the rights,
        status, and privileges of his or her regular employment without
        interruption.
            (5) Consultant services.--The Commission is authorized to
        procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance
        with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, but at rates
        not to exceed the daily rate paid a person occupying a position
        at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of
        title 5, United States Code.

    (f) Compensation and Travel Expenses.--
            (1) Compensation.--Each member of the Commission may be
        compensated at a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the
        annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level IV of
        the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United
        States Code, for each day during which that member is engaged in
        the actual performance of the duties of the Commission.
            (2) Travel expenses.--While away from their homes or regular
        places of business in the performance of services for the
        Commission, members of the Commission shall be allowed travel
        expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same
        manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government
        service are allowed expenses under section 5703(b) of title 5,
        United States Code.

    (g) Nonapplicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act.--The Federal
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the
Commission.
    (h) Report of the Commission; Appearance Before and Consultations
With Congress.--
            (1) Report.--On December 15, 2010, the Commission shall
        submit to the President and to the Congress a report containing
        the findings and conclusions of the Commission on the causes of
        the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.
            (2) Institution-specific reports authorized.--At the
        discretion of the chairperson of the Commission, the report
        under paragraph (1) may include reports or specific findings on
        any financial institution examined by the Commission under
        subsection (c)(2).
            (3) Appearance before the congress.--
        The <<NOTE: Deadline.>> chairperson of the Commission shall, not
        later than 120 days after the date of submission of the final
        reports under paragraph (1), appear before the Committee on
        Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the
        Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives
        regarding such reports and the findings of the Commission.
            (4) Consultations with the congress.--The Commission shall
        consult with the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban
        Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Financial Services of
        the House of Representatives, and other relevant committees of
        the Congress, for purposes of informing the Congress on the work
        of the Commission.

    (i) Termination of Commission.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission, and all the authorities of
        this section, shall terminate 60 days after the date on which
        the final report is submitted under subsection (h).
            (2) Administrative activities before termination.--The
        Commission may use the 60-day period referred to in paragraph

[[Page 123 STAT. 1630]]

        (1) for the purpose of concluding the activities of the
        Commission, including providing testimony to committees of the
        Congress concerning reports of the Commission and disseminating
        the final report submitted under subsection (h).

    (j) Authorization of Appropriation.--There is authorized to be
appropriated to the Secretary of the Treasury such sums as are necessary
to cover the costs of the Commission.

Was bringt die am Mittwoch beginnende                                                               

parlamentarische Aufarbeitung des Finanzdesasters ?

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