The European Commission is proposing that an already-planned central European Union regulatory body — the European Security Markets Authority — should take on oversight of the existing rating agencies when it is due to begin work in January 2011. Will this be enough?
First the SEC issues a Wells Notice, and threatens an NRSRO registration C&D, and now the head of the firm's sovereign rating group, arguably the most important business aspect left to the discredited rating agency, leaves the company. Time for Moody's to issue a D-rating on itself. We wonder just who the administration's hand-picked replacement for Mr. Cailleteau is going to be.
There does not seem to pass a day anymore without Goldman having to do a daily trip to CVS to buy a barrel of KY. The NYT reports that today's criminal investigation comes courtesy of Ny AG Andrew Cuomo who is now investigating whether 8 banks provided misleading information to rating agencies in order to inflate grades of mortgage and other securities. The banks in question are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole and Merrill Lynch. We are confident that unless "misleading information" is a euphemism for massive and totally unwarranted fees (and expenses), and oftentimes criminal leaks (Deep Shah comes to mind), Cuomo will find little to base an actual investigation on. Furthermore, as an escape mechanism, the rating agencies can always place the blame on Microsoft for creating a faulty Excel product whichalways # Ref'ed out whenever the agencies tried to put in anything less than infinite growth rates.
In the Department of the Totally Obvious ...
Nothing to see here. Just an oncoming sovereign default freight train. Oh, and a total collapse in the euro.
Rare? Medium Rare? Medium? Well Done? S&P? Indeed, as the last peg in the gradation of burnt to a crisp, S&P smells completely done. As in there isn't even left a shadow of a doubt that all S&P does is pander to the solicitations of whatever few remaining clients it may have, or, as the case may be, the U.S. government. Any credibility S&P, which one would be excused for confusing with Sycophantic & Pathetic, may have tried to salvage over the past 6 months has been gutted and left to dry after this most recent fiasco, which is the final straw on theMcGraw-Hill subsidiary's expedited route to the NRSRO utterly discredited trash heap.
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