The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched more than three dozen investigations into corporate conduct before the subprime mortgage crisis, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox told a Senate committee. The SEC has set up a subprime task force and is reviewing the role of the credit rating agencies. They have been accused of giving top ratings to structured finance products like mortgage-backed securities without full investigation. The SEC wants to know if the credit raters' role in bringing the securities to market hampered their ability to be impartial in their ratings.

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