WASHINGTON - California and New York regulators had evidence for years that Executive Life Insurance Co. was insolvent, but failed to respond to the danger signals, a General Accounting Office official told House investigators yesterday.

Richard Fogel, assistant comptroller general at the GAO, said legislation is needed to "compel" regulators to intervene when they see hazardous conditions and to take steps to bolster the solvency of troubled firms. Mr. Fogel spoke at a hearing conducted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations.

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