Goldman accused of hindering investigation

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was
subpoenaed by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission after panel members said
the most profitable firm in Wall Street history engaged in a document “dump” to
hinder a probe.

Goldman Sachs sent more than a
billion pages of documents, FCIC Vice Chairman Bill Thomas said. Not all of the
information is what the panel requested, and Goldman Sachs didn’t cooperate
with requests to interview Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, Chief
Operating Officer Gary Cohn and Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, FCIC
Chairman Phil Angelides said.

“We did not ask them to pull up a
dump truck to our offices and dump a bunch of rubbish,” said Angelides, 56, who
previously served as California’s treasurer. “This has been a very deliberate
effort over time to run out the clock.”

The FCIC, which Congress appointed
last year to investigate the causes of the worst economic slump since the Great
Depression, issued the subpoena 4 June. The request adds to government scrutiny
of New York-based Goldman Sachs, as regulators and lawmakers examine how it
packaged mortgages into securities that fuelled investor losses when the
housing market collapsed in 2007.

“We have been and continue to be
committed to providing the FCIC with the information they have requested,”
Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael Duvally said in an e-mailed statement.

Thomas said the panel’s requests to
Goldman Sachs go back “several months.” Information the firm turned over didn’t
comply with what was asked for and has put FCIC investigators in the position
of “searching through the haystack for the needle,” he said.

“We expect them to provide us with
the needle,” he said.

The panel wants information on how
the firm trades derivatives, packages assets into bonds and provides markets
for buyers and sellers of assets, he said.

The FCIC has until December to
complete the probe of Goldman Sachs and other companies and report findings to
Congress.

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