The last mystery of the financial crisis. It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it. by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.
US Justice Department suing Standard and Poor's over a "scheme to defraud investors" before the financial crisis. More details on these recent developments from The Tech online edition here, which notes: "For many years, the ratings agencies have defended themselves successfully in civil litigation by saying their ratings were independent opinions, protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech. Developments in the wake of the financial crisis have raised questions about the agencies’ independence, however." Reuters opts to let S&P break the news for themselves here.
"Fundamentally flawed, unreasonable and irrational." In 2006, ABN Amro created a new type of financial instrument, the constant proportion debt obligation (CPDO), and sold a number of them to 15 local councils in Australia. Standard & Poor's rated these CPDOs as AAA. The Federal Court of Australia has now determined that both ABN Amro and S&P are liable for the losses the councils suffered when the value of the CPDOs collapsed during the financial crisis; the councils lost 90 per cent on the deal. S&P's rating of the CPDOs was found to have been "misleading and deceptive". Felix Salmon provides some analysis. [more inside]
Markets declined sharply this week in preparation for a U.S. credit downgrade by Standard & Poor's ABC news felt confident to break the news of the U.S. government preparing for an expected S&P down grade sometime after market close this weekend. [more inside]
Do not install software from "GAIN" - and never ask me again Microsoft's Internet Explorer team is actually churning out some improvements - the authenticode dialog "Do you want to install this?" in their latest SP Preview Release now functions like it should have from the start, a more usable (understandable) set of choices, and the option to say "No, never ask again". Also, pop-up-blocker apparently quite functional, is set to 'on' by default. Glad to see at least a little progress being made (still no word on PNG or CSS support changes, nor plans for a 7.x version, afaik).