Senate Subcommittee Report Shows Ratings Agencies Willing To Be Defiled By Paying Customers, Able To Look In The Mirror By Pretending To Have Standards To Each Other

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Late last evening, Senator Carl Levin released a report of his investigation into the financial crisis entitled "Wall Street And The Financial Crisis: Anatomy Of A Financial Collapse." The majority of the blame goes toward investment banks, particularly Goldman Sachs (described by Levin- no relation- as “a financial snake pit rife with greed, conflicts of interest, and wrongdoing"), as well as Deutsche Bank, whose former trader, Greg Lippmann (he of "I'm short your house" and sushi spreadsheet fame) gets a lot of airtime. Also criticized are the ratings agencies, who Levin says "weakened their standards as each compete to provide the most favorable rating to win business and greater market share." To that end, the Senator from Michigan illustrates his point with a story about Standard & Poor's and UBS.

In this anecdote, the characters are two S&P analysts, James Yao of UBS, Vertical ABS CDO 2007-1, and an attitude the ratings agency did not appreciate.

Oh yeah, the analysts were pissed something fierce and they had a right mind to tell James to go fuck himself. Nobody pushes Standard & Poor's around! Unless you're paying in which case, do whatever you want to us and we'll go along with it.

But just know that we will be having a conversation internally about how your attitude needs adjusting or else something will be done. Seriously. Take this threat seriously. We're serious. Going to stop talking now so I can put this ball gag in my mouth like you asked but remember what we said.

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