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Financial crisis panel subpoenas Goldman for documents; says bank stonewalling probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel probing the causes of the financial meltdown has issued a subpoena for documents from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., accusing the firm of stonewalling an investigation.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission said Monday it had sent Goldman numerous requests for information, documents and interviews.

Goldman didn't respond to some questions, said panel chairman Phil Angelides. With others, it provided billions of pages of documents — far more than the commission staff can process.

"This has been a very deliberate effort over time to run out the clock," FCIC co-chair Bill Thomas said in a call with reporters. He said Goldman is "about mischief-making" and called the bank's actions "unacceptable".

"We did not ask them to pull a dump truck to our offices and dump a bunch of rubbish," Angelides added.

At least six other investment banks answered similar requests from the commission without incident, Thomas said.

The subpoena includes requests for interviews with top Goldman executives, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Chief Financial Officer David Viniar. The panel chiefs said Goldman offered to schedule the interviews after receiving the subpoena Friday.

A spokesman for Goldman said the bank has cooperated.

"We have been and continue to be committed to providing the FCIC with the information they have requested," Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael Duvally said. He declined to comment further.

Goldman, a Wall Street powerhouse, profited from its bets against the housing market before the crisis. It continued to make huge profits after accepting bailout money and other government subsidies.

The bank's success and lavish executive pay have drawn attention at a time when the nation is dealing with near-double-digit unemployment.

The firm's mortgage speculation also has drawn civil fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and a criminal probe by the Justice Department.

Goldman is one of eight banks being investigated by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on charges that they misled credit rating agencies.

The panel will release additional information about the Goldman subpoena later Monday. It will issue a final report on its findings by Dec. 15.

Bank stocks gave up early gains after the subpoena was announced. Goldman shares were down $2.45, to $139.80, in afternoon trading.

Congress created the bipartisan panel to investigate the credit crisis that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. It already subpoenaed credit rating agency Moody's and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

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AP Business Writer Stevenson Jacobs in New York contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects attribution of Angelides quote in fifth graf. Moving on general news and financial services.)

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