Ratings Agencies in the Spotlight AgainAM
I know this topic is a few days old, but it is still fresh in my mind. As everyone has seen, the US is now suing S&P
The U.S. government is expected to file civil charges against Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, alleging that it improperly gave high ratings to mortgage debt that later plunged in value and helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis.
The charges would mark the first enforcement action the government has taken against a major rating agency involving the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
S&P said Monday that the Justice Department had informed the rating agency that it intends to file a civil lawsuit focusing on S&P's ratings of mortgage debt in 2007.
Fine. You've sued all the banks and about everyone else, I guess it is time to move on to the ratings agencies as they sure as hell dropped the ball on this. I'm still waiting on them to sue pension fund managers, hedge fund managers etc as well but hey, why not go for the obvious scapegoats. Then I read this.
A federal lawsuit would "disregard" the fact that S&P reviewed the same data on risky mortgages as U.S. government officials, who said publicly in 2007 that the problems in the subprime mortgage market appeared to be limited, the company said in a statement.
Are. You. Kidding. Me. Really? This is what it has come to? We aren't even glossing over the fact we are trying to scapegoat them, we are actually coming out and saying it in plain sight. Yeah, the geniuses running the country, the Fed and the Treasury all missed it with your same data but yet we are still going to civilly sue you over it. That's just priceless.
Look, I'm not trying to say that the ratings agencies weren't derelict or didn't do a shitty job but I still maintain that it is the responsibility of the clowns who buy the stuff, the end consumers of it, to do their due diligence. To come back and sue over this is absolutely ridiculous. Thrown in the fact that the government is only suing the one ratings agency that had the stones to downgrade them (egan jones not-withstanding). This is just obnoxious. Anyway, that's enough of that.
Also, an interesting article for those interested in the tax implications of getting divorced courtesy of the journal.
What do you guys think? Are you just jaded of the entire thing, or is this a rightful lawsuit towards those who actually failed us during the crisis?