WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched 50 investigations that constitute a wide swath within the subprime lending industry.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox told Capitol Hill lawmakers late last week that investigation targets include subprime lenders, securitizers, including investment banks and credit rating agencies, as well as the banks and broker-dealers who sold mortgage-backed investments to the public.

The agency is looking into whether mortgage lenders properly accounted for the loans in their portfolios, whether they established appropriate loan loss-reserves and whether lenders adequately disclosed the risk profiles of loans in connection with the sale of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.

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