The unindicted scam-artists of one of the nation’s biggest ratings agencies, who sold phony AAA ratings of subprime mortgage-backed securities to the same companies that were hawking them, precipitating the biggest financial meltdown in US history, yesterday had the titanium balls to downgrade the nation’s blue-chip credit rating.
Even the unindicted regulators who failed to regulate them and unindicted prosecutors who failed to bring them to justice were stunned by the unmitigated gall of the once reliable agencies.
“Given that these - let’s face it – con-men pocketed millions from inflating ratings of essentially worthless bonds and have so far not been jailed for it, you’d think they might want to keep their heads down,” said one unindicted regulator from the NY Fed who requested anonymity for fear his own complicity in the scam might become an issue.
Many believe that the massive pyramid of fraud Wall Street erected on the AAA ratings stripped scores of millions of Americans of the one thing they owned of real value – their homes – in turn creating countless multimillionaires and billionaires who deflected any responsibility for the resulting financial disaster, by insisting that the bond and derivative markets were too complex for outsiders to understand.
Others however believe it’s all the fault of the teachers’ unions.
Reached yesterday the ratings agency Standard & Poor said they couldn’t speak right now because they were busy downgrading the credit ratings of the states hardest hit by the meltdown. Later an S&P spokesman returned the call and said: “Look, if the U.S. Government is willing to slip us $100 million or so, we’ll consider restoring its credit rating at AAA. OK?”
In related news, the rating agency Moody’s announced that it had again given itself an AAA rating as a credit rater.