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Inquiry Could Extend To Clinton Administration

The chairman of the commission investigating the 2008 financial crisis said he planned to probe the actions of regulators back to the Clinton Administration, broadening his inquiry beyond bankers.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, former California Treasurer Phil Angelides said he wanted to know "what did the FBI, the Fed, the Department of Justice and others know about subprime lending; when they know it, and why didn't they act?"

Mr. Angelides is the former state treasurer of California who is the chairman of Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission charged with determining the causes of the nation's financial debacle.

In addition to the public grilling the commission gave top bankers in Washington this week, Angelides said former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and current Chairman Ben Bernanke likely would be called to testify at future commission hearings. He also mentioned former Securities and Exchange Commission heads Christopher Cox, William Donaldson and Arthur Levitt as likely witnesses.

One reason for the longer view: at the hearing, commission members repeatedly raised a 2004 Federal Bureau of Investigation report that warned of an "epidemic" of fraud in the subprime mortgage market which—if left unchecked—could lead to "the next S&L crisis."

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