Judge Throws Book at S&P Over Shoddy Rating Practices

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.