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Report: 2008 Financial Crisis Was 'Avoidable,' Many To Blame

The 2008 financial crisis that helped throw the U.S. economy into what's been called the Great Recession "was an 'avoidable' disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street," a federal inquiry has concluded, according to this morning's New York Times.

The Times, which says it has read a copy of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's report, adds that "the commission ... casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans."

Update at 10 a.m. ET: Over at Planet Money, Jacob Goldstein points out that the report's conclusions are coming from the Democrats on the commission — and that Republican members will be issuing "two separate, dissenting reports. ... One report will focus on a 'narrower set of causes,' the other on 'policies to promote home ownership.' "

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.