The continuing financial crash of 2008 was caused, in large part, because a large core of arrogant, unrepentant Wall Street Banksters, along with government officials and investment traders from all around the world ignored 5th grade economics and treated the whole of the world economy like it was some kind of neighborhood basement card game.
One of the biggest players in the slow speed train wreck that continues to play out is the rating agencies who stamped their seal of approval on large pools of loans (called residential mortgage backed securities). The Wall Street traders had every incentive to gather together piles and piles of shitty mortgages (as Goldman Sachs famously called them), then pawn these mortgages off to the traders who were playing with this country’s entire 401k and retirement portfolios (these are all looted by the way). But before the Wall Street vipers could sell these interests to the keepers of your retirement fund (what you think you’ve really got one?), they first made sure the pool of mortgages had the stamp of approval of Standard and Poors, Fitch or Moodys.
We all know now that the ratings agencies stopped rating anything, they were just whoring out their stamps of approval to whatever trading house was brining in the big bucks for each securitization. But all that’s old news. The fundamental question we should all be asking is how all the people who constructed all this mess have been permitteed not just to walk away from the catastrophe they created, but how they were permitted to thrive in the carnage that they created.
Well, (yawn) someone is now investigating all this mess, but don’t hold your breath. The incestuous relationship between the banks and our existing political and economic order guarantee that no real investigation will occur. Remember that here were are years after this crisis started and their have been no real prosecutions or punishment for all of this mess. These people and these entire industries continue to play with the accumulated wealth of this nation like it is some kind of seedy, basement poker game…..and now from the New York Times:
In the mortgage inquiry, the Justice Department has been asking about instances in which the company’s analysts wanted to award lower ratings on mortgage bonds but may have been overruled by other S.& P. business managers, according to the people with knowledge of the interviews. If the government finds enough evidence to support such a case, which is likely to be a civil case, it could undercut S.& P.’s longstanding claim that its analysts act independently from business concerns.
And The Full Statement from Standard and Poors to Congress: