Standard & Poors, one of the major credit rating agencies, has done an interesting pivot in defining itself amidst a Justice Department civil suit. Like all the major rating agencies S&P is paid by those whose securities it rates. This, quite obviously, is a conflict of interest in how it rates securities because if it rates a financial security in a way the customer does not like the customer will likely look elsewhere for current or future business. This blatant conflict of interest is something the rating agencies, S&P included, have long denied – until now.
|By: DSWright Monday April 29, 2013 11:15 am|
|By: Brian Sonenstein Tuesday February 26, 2013 6:43 am|
We’re happy to see the Department of Justice take Standard & Poor’s to court — but this civil suit represents just a small step in holding Wall Street accountable for the 2008 financial crisis.
|By: DSWright Wednesday February 6, 2013 9:43 am|
The Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit against Standard and Poors alleging that S&P engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in structured financial products known as Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs).
|By: David Dayen Monday November 5, 2012 3:19 pm|
This will get approximately no attention today, but a federal court in Australia ruled that Standard and Poor’s, the credit rating agency, lied to investors when they awarded their highest, triple-A rating to derivative securities that lost their value within two years of purchase. The court ruled for a series of local councils in Australia, which accused S&P of botching the credit ratings and duping them into purchasing the securities.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday August 30, 2012 10:15 am|
Sadly, distortions of the truth are all too common in our politics, and even outright lies are heard frequently, but last night Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan did something truly remarkable with his shameless disregard for the truth. Ryan didn’t just tell several lies about President Obama’s record; more incredibly, he actually had the chutzpah to blame Obama for things he himself is directly responsible for.
|By: David Dayen Saturday May 12, 2012 11:00 am|
If you can find another CEO answer a point-blank question about whether or not their company broke the law with, essentially, “I don’t know, the regulators should come in and find out,” you win a cookie.
|By: David Dayen Saturday January 14, 2012 7:30 am|
Europe has lived in an almost perpetual state of collapse lately, with promising deals followed by despair. This was one of the despair days.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday November 30, 2011 9:10 am|
One of the ways in which the big banks were bailed out was through an artificially high credit rating based on the assumption that they would always get bailed out if they got into trouble. This was a major advantage for them over their competitors. Now S&P Rating Services is downgrading major banks.
|By: Jane Hamsher Thursday September 29, 2011 12:15 pm|
It seemed like S&P was never going to be held accountable for their actions. But after a months-long investigation, the SEC has declared that they may soon take action against S&P for their misleading mortgage ratings in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.
Reports indicate the SEC just issued a Wells Note indicating they were weighing ‘civil action’ against S&P — but that could amount amount to a pittance of a fine compared to the enormous profits reaped by S&P’s misdeeds.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 27, 2011 9:20 am|
The SEC has told Standard and Poor’s that they may file civil charges over the rating agency’s role in a 2007 mortgage backed securities deal. The formal warning of potential imminent charges, known as a Wells notice, was delivered yesterday.