Published reports indicated that some of the banks and credit rating agencies that were subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are willing to cooperate with his investigation. Cuomo's probe is looking into the propriety of these firms' relationships.
Cuomo, according to a Dow Jones report, subpoenaed eight banks in a probe to find out whether misrepresentations were committed regarding some MBS to improve their credit ratings. The report cited a person who is familiar with the investigation.
The eight firms being investigated are Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, UBS, Credit Suisse and Credit Agricole. The probe also includes the three main rating agencies Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings.
The report enumerated Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Moody's and Fitch as saying that they would comply with the subpoenas as well as cooperate with the probe. Dow Jones said that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Agricole refused to comment, while S&P did not respond to a request for comment right away.
The subpoenas, according to the report, were issued late Wednesday. These papers, according to Dow Jones, are seeking a broad range of documents and are looking mainly at the banks' interactions with the rating agencies with reference to different structured finance instruments such as CDOs and other ABS.
Thus far, the investigation is in its early stages and it remains unclear whether it will eventually lead to criminal or civil charges.
Meanwhile, Dow Jones cited The Wall Street Journal as reporting that U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan is conducting a preliminary criminal investigation of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and UBS. The report also cited a person familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, the Journal also reported that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are under preliminary criminal scrutiny.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued civil subpoenas to the banks in connection with a probe related to MBS, the Journal reported, also quoting a person familiar with the matter.