Goldman Sachs subpoenaed by crisis panel

By David Ellis, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A government panel charged with examining the financial crisis said Monday it had subpoenaed Goldman Sachs after what it believed were deliberate attempts by the banking giant to impede its investigation.

The legal order was officially filed late last week by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a 10-member, bipartisan panel appointed last summer by Congress.

Phil Angelides, the former California treasurer who is heading up the probe, said that investigators made numerous attempts in recent months to secure documents and schedule interviews with executives from Goldman.

Goldman unleashed a blizzard of paperwork in what the commission called a deliberate effort to hinder its investigation. In fact, the commission said the bank "began producing 5 terabytes of documents," or the equivalent of 2.5 billion pages.

"Our view is this has been a very deliberate effort over time to run out the clock," said Angelides, in a press conference with reporters Monday afternoon.

The commission is scheduled to delivering its findings in a report by Dec. 15.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said Monday that the company has been and continues "to be committed to providing the FCIC with the information they have requested."

Angelides, joined by the commission's vice chairman Bill Thomas, offered few details about what information the subpoena sought other than it related to some of Goldman's various businesses, including derivatives and securitizaitions.

Thus far, the commission has shown its willingness to use legal power in its investigation of the crisis.

Last week it subpoenaed billionaire investor Warren Buffett after the Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) CEO declined the commission's offer to participate in a hearing on the credit rating agency Moody's (MCO).

The commission said it has issued approximately a dozen subpoenas thus far in its investigation, some of which were done merely in order to break confidentiality agreements.

In this instance, Angelides and Thomas said they were left with no other choice after Goldman's slow turnaround in handing over documents and apparent unwillingness to cooperate.

"We are not going to let someone stand in our way," said Angelides.

The commission, however, said it had no plans to request the presence of any Goldman executives at another hearing.

Earlier this year, Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chairman and CEO, appeared before the commission along with leaders of the nation's other top bank chiefs. That was the FCIC's first hearing about the root causes of the financial crisis.

The subpoena represents the latest legal setback for Goldman. The company is currently facing civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged the company attempted to defraud investors. It also faces a handful of lawsuits from individual shareholders for failing to alert investors about its legal tangle with the SEC.

Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) shares finished over 2% lower on the New York Stock Exchange. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,499.66 -14.71 -0.09%
Nasdaq 4,132.62 -28.84 -0.69%
S&P 500 1,874.93 -4.62 -0.25%
Treasuries 2.70 -0.02 -0.88%
Data as of 10:04am ET
Company Price Change % Change
AT&T Inc 35.12 -1.17 -3.22%
Facebook Inc 62.29 -0.74 -1.17%
Verizon Communicatio... 47.05 -0.87 -1.82%
Gilead Sciences Inc 74.60 1.74 2.39%
Bank of America Corp... 16.28 -0.01 -0.06%
Data as of 9:49am ET
Sponsors

Sections

Alibaba's shopping sites account for 80% of online retail in China. Meet four successful merchants. More

The eurozone kept government borrowing under control last year, meeting its own limit for the first time since 2008, providing more evidence that the region is emerging from a devastating debt crisis. More

Upstart Aereo goes before Supreme Court justices in challenge by broadcasters who say TV streaming services violates copyrights. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

While home values nationwide are still down 13.5% from their pre-housing bust peaks, prices in these major housing markets have recovered -- and then some, according to Zillow. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.