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What a headline!

September 20, 2011

The title of this NYT article got my attention: Italy Rejects S.&.P. Downgrade. Why didn't the U.S. think of that?

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You didn't think this was over, did you?

August 17, 2011

The Justice Department has been looking into S&P for mortgage-related fraud: The investigation began before Standard & Poor’s cut the United States’ AAA credit rating this month, but it is likely to add fuel to the political firestorm that has surrounded that action. Lawmakers and some administration officials have since questioned the agency’s secretive process, […]

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The Untouchables

August 9, 2011

Standard & Poor's is the Al Capone of modern financial markets. For many years, we went along with their protection racket: we paid the firm, and they made sure we knew which investments were safe. They got involved in politics, spending incredible sums to lobby the government for support, and eventually were mandated into perpetuity […]

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S&P's tit for tat

August 6, 2011

Thanks to the time difference, I went to bed last night thinking the markets had stabilized, but woke up to learn that the United States -- the unassailable risk-free issuer -- had been downgraded by S&P. This is embarrassing -- on S&P's part. As we all recall, S&P was blamed squarely for contributing to the […]

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test post

April 22, 2009
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Firms, or farms?

March 10, 2009

In case anyone missed the reference in the previous post - and it's just too good to be missed - an SEC report from a few months ago revealed some interesting idiosyncracies about S&P's rating process.  The following is a 2007 instant message conversation quoted in the report: Official #1: Btw that deal is ridiculous. […]

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