August 18, 2011

S&P, Team Obama and "coincidences"

Sure, the administration's investigation of S&P's CDO ratings started before S&P issued its U.S. credit rating downgrade.

Nonetheless, the Department of Justice's look-see at the top credit rating agency's contribution to the financial sector implosion should be fun, at least.

DOJ: Now, Mr. S&P rater, why did you give CDO group X a AAA rating?
S&P: Because Goldman Sachs said it was that good.
DOJ: And why didn't you continue to give the U.S. debt a AAA rating, when we've not only shown it's good so far, but we pointed out your $2 trillion math error?
S&P: Er, that's, .... I mean to say .... er, that is .... can we make a contribution to the Obama 2012 campaign?

More seriously, as the story notes, it's only a civil investigation, as most such Team Obama actions have been. And, many of them haven't even produced civil case results.

The only hope is that perhaps it would push to move our country's financial system away from a pay-to-play system of paying for a financial rating. Rather, businesses who have paid in the past would dump money in a pool, and, based on past expertise, one of the major ratings agencies would be chosen by lot. Or, as one person quoted in the story suggests, charge investors who use the ratings for them, not the people marketing the products who are seeking ratings.

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