Fixing the Ratings Agencies | Mother Jones
No question about it: over the past decade ratings agencies were, at best, negligent, and at worst, perpetrators of outright fraud. "It could be structured by cows and we would rate it" is surely one of the all-time great quotes of the bubble era. And the fact that agencies shared their models with issuers so they’d have an easier time tweaking their products to get high ratings is prima facie evidence of corruption. Slapping a AAA rating on every cobbled-together junkpile that slithered its way out of a Wall Street structured finance group certainly helped fuel the fantastic expansion of risky investments that all came crashing down in 2008.