Sunday, February 28, 2016

A 1994 Report from GAO Warned Congress That Wall Street Could Explode

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Fourteen years before Wall Street blew itself up in 2008, the General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office), warned Congress that Wall Street was on a dangerous path that could put the taxpayer at risk of bailouts as a result of trillions of dollars of derivatives being held by a handful of interconnected firms. These dangers were heightened according to the GAO by shoddy accounting practices for derivatives, inadequate regulatory reporting, and high leverage.

Despite the fact that almost every single warning that the GAO called out in 1994 was ignored by the U.S. Congress, leading to the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression in 2008, Congress has still not attended to the most dangerous elements highlighted in the report.

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