The S.E.C. Finds Moody's Guilty of Breaking Its Own Rules But Still Will Charge Them With Nothing
September 01, 2010

When the really true history of the financial collapse is written there will be a special place of infamy for the three major rating agencies: Moody's, S & P, and Fitch. I'd written about them before the system-wide disaster and during the weeks and months when American capitalism was truly on the ropes. Some sectors of the economy got their comeuppance; some didn't, getting away wholly unpunished and gloating about their escape by claiming that their lies about companies and public bonds were protected by the First Amendment. Free speech has insulated many rogues and criminals.

BP And Our Kick-Ass President
June 21, 2010

My hunch is that the hemorrhaging of oil in the Gulf of Mexico won't end until...well, until it ends. By which I mean until the last drop rises to the surface and there is no more below. No, I don't know when that will be, and neither apparently do the hot shot execs at what President Obama (in another swipe at London) called British Petroleum or. for that matter, the president himself. Of course, no one really does.

Three Cheers For Barney Frank; Two Cheers For The Wall Street Journal
December 23, 2009

These cheers are about an issue on which Barney Frank and the editors of The Wall Street Journal agree. And I agree, too. On most matters of high finance I'm more on Barney's side than that of Paul Gigot or my old friend Daniel Henninger. But this question is less a matter of politics than of honor and honesty. Some of you may recall my own idée fixe on what an editorial in Wednesday's Journal called the "credit-ratings racket" practiced by three portentous companies: Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch.

Two To Go
July 16, 2009

There are two sub-groups in the financial services industry that have yet to face the music. But I wouldn't be a bit surprised if executives in these groups are experiencing bouts of panic in the night. One sub-set is the auditing firms of which Ernst & Young, Peat Marwick, KPMG and Deloitte are the top four. Then there are perhaps a half dozen below them and another ten below them. Many of these accounting combines are in trouble with various legal agencies for giving tax advice to companies and executives on how actually to break or evade the laws.