Financial Crisis Commission Picks Staff Director, Sets First Meeting

Financial Crisis Commission Picks Staff Director, Sets First Meeting


The federally chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has selected an Executive Director and will hold its first public meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2009, from 9-11:30 a.m. The meeting will be held in 1310 Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, September 14, 2009 Chairman Phil Angelides and Vice Chairman Bill Thomas jointly announced that Thomas Greene will serve as the Commission's Executive Director. According to a Commission press release:

Greene brings broad investigative, legal and financial experience to the new position. For the past 25 years he has held leadership roles in the Office of the Attorney General of California, including serving as Chief Assistant Attorney General of the Public Rights Division, the 300-attorney, affirmative litigation arm of the office. Working under both Democratic and Republican attorneys general, he has led complex investigations and prosecuted major cases in the fields of antitrust, consumer protection, energy and corporate responsibility, among others. He coordinated the multi-state antitrust remedies trial against Microsoft and led the team that prosecuted multiple civil cases against Enron and negotiated a $1.5 billion settlement with El Paso Natural Gas, concluding actions arising from California's energy crisis. He initiated the investigation and then supervised civil prosecutions of broker-dealers and mutual funds for unfair sales practices and was lead attorney in California's case against the tobacco industry that resulted in $26 billion for California and injunctions prohibiting advertising of tobacco products to children.

He directed the largest state antitrust unit in the nation and helped pioneer multistate antitrust enforcement. He chaired the Multistate Antitrust Task Force for the National Association of Attorneys General, coordinating the investigation and prosecution of major antitrust cases in all states and U.S. Territories.

"Tom has the skills and experience needed to help the Commission conduct the full, fair inquiry into the financial meltdown that the American people deserve," said Chairman Phil Angelides. Added Vice Chair Bill Thomas, "He will be an effective leader of the Commission's investigative staff, helping us fully examine the roots of our nation's financial crisis."

Prior to his service in the California Attorney General's office, he led the consumer advocacy and litigation arm of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. He also served as General Counsel to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee of the California Legislature, developing that body's investigative and oversight capacity. He was previously Special Counsel to the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he organized investigative and oversight hearings concerning toxic waste, solar energy, and petroleum industry accounting; and received top secret clearance to review national security information. After passage of legislation concerning energy accounting, Greene was the congressional representative to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, monitoring the development of new practices in the petroleum industry.

Prior WilmerHale updates on the Commission's mandate and membership can be found here, and here.

For details on the September 17, 2009 meeting, click here.