Mr. Angelides told me that he had no knowledge of Mr. Bowen’s being censored, but that he was aware that the commission’s staff would generally work with witnesses to focus their testimony “on the most salient facts.” The final report, he said, gave prominence to Mr. Bowen’s most substantial charges, including the e-mail to Mr. Rubin. But, he conceded, the Wall Street banks “and their phalanx of attorneys were putting enormous pressure” on the commission “every day of every week with every witness” in an effort “to discredit people who were testifying against their interests.

If this is true—and I have no reason to doubt Bowen—it’s a scandal. Who else got pressured to water down their testimony? What else did the FCIC short-arm or look away from?

What does it say about us that we need a Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Commission?


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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.