- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2002

A Republican lawmaker is asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's request last year that the Bush administration intervene to help now-bankrupt Enron Corp.
Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, one of the House Republican leaders, is sending a letter today to SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt asking for an investigation.
Mr. Rubin, who left the Clinton administration in mid-1999, is chairman of the executive committee of Citigroup, one of the banks that has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to Enron.
As Enron fell toward collapse, Mr. Rubin called the Treasury Department's undersecretary for domestic finance, Peter Fisher, on Nov. 8 to seek his intervention on Enron's behalf. At the time, Wall Street credit-rating agencies were poised to downgrade their assessment of the financial status of Enron.
The Treasury Department did not intervene.
Several Enron officials were making calls to various administration officials at that time seeking help for the Houston-based company.
"Apart from the questionable propriety of a former Treasury secretary trying to solicit financial favors from former colleagues at a department he once led, I would ask that you investigate all [Enron stock] trades submitted by Citigroup and/or its subsidiaries and their clients in the two weeks preceding Mr. Rubin's call to Mr. Fisher as well as the two weeks following the call," Mr. Foley told Mr. Pitt in the letter.
"Credit reports are viewed by investors in order to determine the financial soundness of a company before investing capital in that company's equity stock," Mr. Foley wrote. "It is imperative that we know what the consequences were on stock actions by Mr. Rubin's apparent attempt at interfering on behalf of Enron a company that Citigroup had, and has, a financial interest in."
On Nov. 28, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Enron's bonds to junk status. Enron filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors four days later.
SEC spokesmen couldn't be reached for comment last night.

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