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Moody's Just Now Realizing There Is More Than One Game In Town

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Maybe the guys at Moody's are finally getting it. Apparently somewhat lost on the Moody's clan during the past 6 or so years when getting a rating was about as tough as waking up, was the clear arb at the top of the capital structure. Between the two masters of mean reversion analysis, Moody's had more stringent conditions than S&P to achieve a AAA rating for ABS securities. When there was plenty of appetite for sub-AAAs, Moody's didn't seem to care one bit about the arb. It has taken the government's requirement of only one AAA rating for TALF eligibility to snap Moody's out of this haze and now, naturally, they are complaining about it.

The need to have a AAA rating to be eligible "for government programs raises the specter of rating shopping," Andrew Kimball, head of the global structured finance business at Moody's Investors Service, said during the company's investor day today. "Those programs don't differentiate on the quality of the rating. Rating shopping becomes a problem."

The irony in his statement is delicious. No doubt Ben Bernanke will soon be listening to the debate on why its unfair to treat two completely worthless ratings differently.
Fed's TALF Fuels Rating 'Shopping,' Moody's Says [Bloomberg]


Moody's Attempts To Ruin Dick Handler's Good Time

Until recently, being chief executive officer of Jefferies was an exercise in getting shit on. As the man in charge for the last 13 years, Richard Handler has had to put up with a lot of hurtful remarks that, while nothing to the person tossing them off, undoubtedly stung quite badly. "Third-tier bank." Place "I wouldn't let my maid's kid work." "Poor man's Morgan Keegan." So you can imagine that after a string of victories over the last several months that included getting involved in the slaughterhouse business and paying all-cash bonuses unlike some people, Handler and Co. would be feeling pretty good about themselves and that after announcing to the world they were getting paid more this year than their counterparts at big kid banks, they'd be feeling REALLY good about themselves. That payday, however, did not go over well when input into Moody's proprietary just-make-it-up credit-rating model, and now Handler's plan to gather everyone up to watch as the board shoots his compensation out of a tee-shirt gun in hundred dollar bills is completely ruined.