Rating agencies gave AAA ratings for junk financial instruments, out of financial conflict of interest. Still they remain unpunished. The stupidity here is a system where greedy incompetence is rewarded and not kept in check by law.
The sheer fraud and greed of rating agency analysts and executives is staggering. That no one has gone to jail, and none of the agencies have been shut down is a travesty of justice on an infinitely larger scale than Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Until depositors, bankers and investors regain confidence in the quality of ratings we rely upon to measure financial stability and creditworthiness, the tremors that underlie the credit crisis will drag on indefinitely. […]
The problem with the business of rating the issuers of securities, and rating the securities they issue – such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage-backed obligations – is that the rating agencies are paid by the issuers to rate them. Objectivity aside, ratings firms are in business not to rate but to make money for themselves by rating issuers and their securities. It’s like all the contestants in the Miss World pageant paying the judges with country funds … who’s not going to be judged beautiful?
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