Senate Banking Panel to Examine Investment Banks, Mortgages

While no announcement had been made by key Senators as of Friday morning, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on the role of investment banks in the mortgage crisis on June 10. The hearing, titled “Turmoil in U.S. Credit Markets: Examining the Securities Underwriting Practices at Investment Banks,” appeared on a schedule published on the Banking Committee’s Web site Friday morning. Reuters, citing a source close to key Senate leaders, reported Tuesday that Merrill Lynch (MER), Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup (C), UBS (UBS), Lehman Brothers (LEH) have been invited to testify at the hearing. None of the firms had confirmed their participation in the hearing as of Friday morning. Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal regulators may also testify, according to the Reuters report.

Senator Dodd will hear from investment banking executives on mortgage securitization. (source: Dodd’s office)

News of the hearing comes on the heels of an agreement earlier this week involving key credit rating agencies and New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, that allegedly involves obtaining cooperation from the agencies in the AG’s ongoing investigation of practices at key investment banks in the RMBS and CDO securitization process. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is also allegedly organizing a separate hearing for June 12, as part of a banking subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment inquiry into the structured finance industry, sources told HW on Friday morning. Disclosure: The author held no positions in publicly-traded firms mentioned herein when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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