Judge Throws Book at S&P Over Shoddy Rating Practices

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Good news! Standard & Poor’s is finally being held to account for transparently manipulating its own models solely in order to give one of its customers a AAA rating for a rocket-science derivative product. Long story short, they plugged in whatever numbers it took to generate the AAA rating, even though they knew the numbers were bogus. In fact, says Felix Salmon, if they had plugged in reasonable numbers, “the CPDO would almost certainly not even have been investment grade, let alone triple-A.”

And the bad news? The ruling came from an Australian judge. And it’s 635,500 words long (!). Wouldn’t it be nice to get a few rulings like this from American judges too? In the meantime, Felix has a reasonably understandable explanation of the whole thing here. Read it and weep.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate