The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

It’s long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it

Lord help our fucking scam…” this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at,” writes one Standard & Poor’s executive. “As you know, I had difficulties explaining ‘HOW’ we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it,” confesses a high-ranking S&P analyst. “If we are just going to make it up in order to rate deals, then quants [quantitative analysts] are of precious little value,” complains another senior S&P man. “Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card[s] falters,” ruminates one more.

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