Moody's Chief McDaniel Says Company's CDO Ratings `Deeply Disappointing' (Bloomberg)
McDaniel said the collapse of the housing market and subsequent financial crisis were of a magnitude “many of us would have once thought unimaginable,” according to written testimony submitted to the FCIC before a hearing today in New York on credit ratings. He said he is proud of Moody’s reputation and the firm’s record of 100 years of rating trillions of dollars in debt. “However, the performance of our credit ratings for U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities and related collateralized debt obligations over the past several years has been deeply disappointing,” he said. “Moody’s is certainly not satisfied with the performance of these ratings.”
Ex-Moody's Employees Testify (WSJ)
In written testimony to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Mark Froeba accused Moody's managers of having "deliberately engineered a change to its culture intended to ensure that rating analysis never jeopardized market share and revenue."
Buffett to testify before FCIC on Moody's, ratings agencies this morning (Marketplace)
The Oracle provided no prepared testimony-- he's doing it live!
SEC Seeks To Bar Steve Rattner (NYT)
Apparently that would be not good: "It would be the most severe penalty for any of the Wall Street executives ensnared in the wide-ranging pension investigation, and it would carry a significant stigma for Mr. Rattner, whose rise in high finance catapulted him to the top of New York’s social and political hierarchy."
"I Can Plug The Oil Leak," Says Long Island Genius (NYP)
Alia Sabur calls the plan the "seabed retread." "It's not completely out there, considering that tires are used for everything and they're expected to withstand a lot," Sabur, 21, told The Post. The idea came to her while watching television reports of the failed attempts to plug the hole last week, she said. And she had it all worked out in a just a few minutes, sketching it out on paper.
Set Aside Fears of Inflation -- Just for Now (Barron's)
Ray Dalio: "As Europe's economy weakens and its debt crisis worsens, the printing of money does not mean that it will produce an accelerating inflation because simultaneously there is also less being purchased, and the surpluses are already causing deflationary pressures. That is why, contrary to almost everybody's belief, I believe the bonds in countries that can print money will be good investments."
Porn Stars in 3-D Lure Consumers to New Sony, Panasonic TVs (Bloomberg)
Really make that snuff film come alive in your living room.
Short-Selling Ban Highlights German, French Split (WSJ)
Germany and France continued to draw apart on regulatory changes Wednesday, when the German cabinet approved an extended ban on certain short-sales of securities. France had been caught by surprise when Germany first announced its plan and Wednesday said it wouldn't follow suit. In another apparent policy disagreement between the two countries, France also said that it was siding with the U.K. to use a bank levy for general budget purposes rather than for a European Union bank-bailout fund, a step favored by Germany and the European Commission, the EU's executive arm. Berlin has tried to play down this split with Paris, saying that separate approaches in France and Germany are the result of constitutional restraints on how tax proceeds can be used.
Iran to Change 45 Billion Euros for Dollars, Gold (Reuters)
Iran's central bank will sell 45 billion euros from its reserves to buy dollars and gold ingots, a report on the website of state-owned Press TV said on Wednesday.