Here is a link to the 650-page pdf Final Report of the Inquiry Commission on the Financial Crisis:
"The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has been called upon to examine the financial
and economic crisis that has gripped our country and explain its causes to the
American people. We are keenly aware of the significance of our charge, given the
economic damage that America has suffered in the wake of the greatest financial crisis
since the Great Depression.
Our task was first to determine what happened and how it happened so that we
could understand why it happened. Here we present our conclusions. We encourage
the American people to join us in making their own assessments based on the evidence
gathered in our inquiry. If we do not learn from history, we are unlikely to fully
recover from it. Some on Wall Street and in Washington with a stake in the status quo
may be tempted to wipe from memory the events of this crisis, or to suggest that no
one could have foreseen or prevented them. This report endeavors to expose the
facts, identify responsibility, unravel myths, and help us understand how the crisis
could have been avoided. It is an attempt to record history, not to rewrite it, nor allow
it to be rewritten.
To help our fellow citizens better understand this crisis and its causes, we also present
specific conclusions at the end of chapters in Parts III, IV, and V of this report.
The subject of this report is of no small consequence to this nation. The profound
events of ćqćoćoćv and ćqćoćoćw were neither bumps in the road nor an accentuated dip in
the financial and business cycles we have come to expect in a free market economic
system. This was a fundamental disruption°Xa financial upheaval, if you will°Xthat
wreaked havoc in communities and neighborhoods across this country.
As this report goes to print, there are more than ćqću million Americans who are
out of work, cannot find full-time work, or have given up looking for work. About
four million families have lost their homes to foreclosure and another four and a half
million have slipped into the foreclosure process or are seriously behind on their
mortgage payments. Nearly $11 trillion in household wealth has vanished, with retirement
accounts and life savings swept away. Businesses, large and small, have felt
the sting of a deep recession. There is much anger about what has transpired, and justifiably
so. Many people who abided by all the rules now find themselves out of work
and uncertain about their future prospects. The collateral damage of this crisis has
been real people and real communities. The impacts of this crisis are likely to be felt
for a generation. And the nation faces no easy path to renewed economic strength.
Like so many Americans, we began our exploration with our own views and some
preliminary knowledge about how the world°¶s strongest financial system came to the
brink of collapse. Even at the time of our appointment to this independent panel,
much had already been written and said about the crisis. Yet all of us have been
deeply affected by what we have learned in the course of our inquiry. We have been at
various times fascinated, surprised, and even shocked by what we saw, heard, and
read. Ours has been a journey of revelation."