From McClatchy Newspapers, Apr 22/09
WASHINGTON — A Senate panel investigating the causes of the nation's financial crisis on Thursday unveiled evidence that credit-ratings agencies knowingly gave inflated ratings to complex deals backed by shaky U.S. mortgages because of the fees they earned for giving such investment-grade ratings.
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will . . . introduce email records in which executives from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service acknowledge compromising the integrity of ratings in order to win business from big Wall Street firms.
“They did it for the big fees they got,” Sen. Levin told reporters on Thursday . . .
We have numerous examples that prove deregulation is bad public policy, particularly in matters financial and environmental. There are zero examples showing routine self-regulation to be wise and workable public policy.
When politicians aim for deregulation, they can eliminate the departments that conduct oversight, or leave them in place to pretend that oversight continues. The Bush Administration specialized in the latter, often by appointing heads of agency who were unqualified and philosophically opposed to objectives of the organization.
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