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Hill Leaders Tap Two Former Members for Financial Crisis Panel

House and Senate leaders on Wednesday announced their appointments to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a 10-member panel tasked with examining the domestic and global causes of the financial sector meltdown. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) each made three appointments.Pelosi’s picks include Phil Angelides, who served as California state treasurer from 1999 to 2007; Brooksley Born, who chaired the Commodities Futures Trading Commission from 1996 to 1999; and John W. Thompson, board chairman and former CEO of Symantec Corp., a leading security software provider.Reid’s appointments include former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.); Heather Murren, a retired managing director for global securities research and economics at Merrill Lynch; and Byron Georgiou, a Las Vegas-based businessman and attorney.Pelosi and Reid jointly chose Angelides to head the commission.House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) each made two appointments.Boehner chose former Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) and Peter Wallison, co-director for financial policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. McConnell appointed former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin and former National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey.Boehner and McConnell jointly chose Thomas to serve as vice chairman of the commission. The commission was created in a mortgage, securities and financial fraud bill that Congress passed earlier this year. Commission members are tasked with holding hearings on more than 20 areas of inquiry and are required to issue a final report by Dec. 15, 2010.“The American people are entitled to a thorough examination of what went wrong. The men and women who we appoint to this commission must help the public gain a full understanding of why our system failed us in the past and I am confident that we have chosen the right people to lead that effort,— Reid said in a statement.