From Eric Kolchinsky, a former analyst at Moody’s, a ratings agency, on why he’s testifying before Congress today about abuses of the ratings process:
I was part of the process that did all this damage, and I feel I should try to do something now to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
That’s refreshing. If you read the linked story, Kolchinsky basically says that it’s business as usual at Moody’s: they’re giving high ratings to insanely complex debt instruments even when they know the underlying assets aren’t really in very good shape. It’s yet another data point suggesting that Wall Street is already piling back into all the same practices that caused last year’s meltdown. And why not? Unlike Kolchinsky, none of these guys really seem to believe they did anything wrong in the first place. Hooray for bailouts!