Financial Panel Issues a Subpoena to Goldman Sachs

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Financial Panel Issues a Subpoena to Goldman Sachs

By SEWELL CHAN

WASHINGTON — The commission established by Congress to investigate the causes of the financial crisis issued a subpoena to Goldman Sachs on Monday for “failing to comply with a request for documents and interviews in a timely manner.”

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which is required to deliver a final report by December, did not specify what information it had been seeking.

The commission has been extremely sparing in its use of the subpoena powers that Congress gave it last year, so much so that some observers have questioned the panel’s aggressiveness. In April, the commission issued its first subpoena — to Moody’s Investor’s Service, the credit rating agency — for failure to promptly comply with a request for information.

“We’ve given them ample time to provide documents and information,” a commission spokesman said. “The kind of documents is quite broad, as you might imagine, so it’s not that they are just withholding a specific range of docs but more to the tune of generally uncooperative. Same with interviews.”

Phil Angelides, the commission’s chairman, and Bill Thomas, the vice chairman, are expected to discuss the subpoenas later Monday in a conference call. Both men are Californians. Mr. Angelides, a Democrat, is a former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate; Mr. Thomas, a Republican, served 28 years in Congress and rose to be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs, Michael DuVally, said “We have been and continue to be committed to providing the F.C.I.C. with the information they have requested.”

Goldman had already provided more than 20 million pages of documents, a person briefed on the investigation said, and the commission had begun interviewing witnesses, on a range of issued, including derivatives, the complex financial instruments that were at the heart of the crisis.

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