Judge Throws Book at S&P Over Shoddy Rating Practices

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Good news! Standard & Poor’s is finally being held to account for transparently manipulating its own models solely in order to give one of its customers a AAA rating for a rocket-science derivative product. Long story short, they plugged in whatever numbers it took to generate the AAA rating, even though they knew the numbers were bogus. In fact, says Felix Salmon, if they had plugged in reasonable numbers, “the CPDO would almost certainly not even have been investment grade, let alone triple-A.”

And the bad news? The ruling came from an Australian judge. And it’s 635,500 words long (!). Wouldn’t it be nice to get a few rulings like this from American judges too? In the meantime, Felix has a reasonably understandable explanation of the whole thing here. Read it and weep.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate