Panel subpoenas Moody's for documents

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 21, 2010; 6:22 PM

A congressional panel studying the root causes of the financial crisis issued a subpoena to Moody's on Wednesday, complaining that the credit rating agency had not complied with its request for documents and e-mails to aid in its investigation.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is tasked by Congress with producing a report by the end of the year and has already collected more than 2 million pages of documents, said Philip Angelides, chairman of the bipartisan panel.

On March 10, the panel requested documents and e-mails from Moody's, but more than a month later the firm had not moved to comply, Angelides said. "We have a clock, and what we can't allow to happen is for people to run out the clock," he said.

Angelides did not specify what kind of documents the commission requested from Moody's, but credit rating agencies have been faulted for giving top ratings to investments that turned out to be much riskier than initially portrayed. "The actions of the credit rating agencies are of interest and concern to the committee," Angelides said.

This is the commission's first subpoena to compel the production of documents, but two others were issued in conjunction with voluntary interviews, Angelides said.

Moody's did not return calls or e-mails for comment.

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