Can the government be trusted to regulate companies properly?

It constantly seems as if the government can not separate politics from what it does. Now the government is going after S&P at least in part because it downgraded the US credit rating. The government is also going after S&P for not foreseeing a financial crisis that the government itself didn't foresee. The bottom line is this: if S&P doesn't rate bonds and other assets properly, people won't pay them very much for their ratings. The market punishes S&P for the mistakes that it makes. Apparently, politicians are telling the New York Times that they are letting S&P's downgrade of the US impact their judgments on punishing the company. That is not good. Does anyone think that will make S&P's evaluations of the US better in the future?

The Justice Department is investigating whether the nation’s largest credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, according to two people interviewed by the government and another briefed on such interviews.

The investigation began before Standard & Poor’s cut the United States’ AAA credit rating this month, but it is likely to add fuel to the political firestorm that has surrounded that action. Lawmakers and some administration officials have since questioned the agency’s secretive process, its credibility and the competence of its analysts, claiming to have found an error in its debt calculations. . . .

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Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

In the context of the whole, I cannot chalk this up as mere coincidence.

Is this too going to be driven by Mr. Holder as a favor to the man who hired him?

8/19/2011 1:22 PM  

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