US panel subpoenas Goldman Sachs

09:02, June 09, 2010      

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A high-profile panel investigating the causes of the financial crisis announced Monday it had subpoenaed Goldman Sachs, claiming the firm had flooded the panel with 2.5 billion pages of records.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) had asked Goldman Sachs to provide documents and grant interviews in connection with the panel's probe.

In response, the Wall Street firm produced 5 terabytes of records, with each terabyte containing 500 million pages of digitized records, FCIC Chairman Phil Angelides told reporters on a conference call.

FCIC Vice Chairman Bill Thomas said Goldman Sachs, knowing the panel's limited resources, had sent commission staff hunting for a needle in a haystack.

"We expect them to provide us with the needle," Thomas said.

The FCIC called Goldman's response "abysmal." Angelides and Thomas said other banks had received and complied with similar FCIC requests.

Goldman spokesman Samuel Robinson said in a statement that, "We have been and continue to be committed to providing the FCIC with the information they have requested."

It is the latest controversy for the New York-based bank, which is facing civil and potentially criminal charges for misleading investors.

Disclosure concerns have followed Goldman in recent months.

It has been criticized for not immediately telling investors that it received a so-called Wells Notice from the SEC last September, signaling the possibility of civil charges.

Public criticism of Goldman Sachs has also come from China, according to the Financial Times.

Some Chinesemedia have openly slated Goldman, which is perhaps the most successful Western financial firm in China. A report in the China Youth Daily criticized the bank as a "black hand" that "played little tricks carefully designed to gamble with Chinese enterprises."

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