Sanders Requests Investigation Into the Financial Crisis

WASHINGTON, January 30 - In a letter to Senate leaders, Senator Bernie Sanders demanded a major investigation into what caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Sanders proposed expanding a congressional review of how up to $700 billion in Wall Street bailout funds are being spent to also investigate how the financial crisis started in the first place.

"We have an enormous responsibility to explain to the American people what led to this financial crisis, how did we get here, who is responsible, and what we can do to make sure that this never happens again," Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Sanders proposed that the Congressional Oversight Panel overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), chaired by Harvard University Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, expand its scope and also investigate the causes of the economic collapse.

"In order to accomplish this very important goal," Sanders wrote, "We need to examine what responsibility should be borne by individuals, corporations, and institutions for the poor decisions and foolish investments that have in large measure created this monumental crisis.

"The TARP Oversight Panel is already in place. A sensible next step would be to expand its charge from that of scrupulously examining how the TARP monies are spent, to also exploring why the financial crisis occurred in the first place. The panel should have subpoena power necessary to assure that it receives sound information and direct answers to the questions it is charged with answering."

The letter is available here.