The 119-page government complaint alleges that S&P repeatedly “adjusted and delayed” improvements to its analytical models and “knowingly disregarded the true extent of the credit risks” associated with the CDO investments it rated.
Your New Landlord Works on Wall Street
So a bullish outlook for housing would seemingly augur a long-awaited recovery to Main Street. But the more you look into it, the clearer it becomes that it’s not being driven by the typical American families who lost their homes in the economic crash. In fact, it’s being fueled by the banks and hedge funds whose speculation caused that crash in the first place.
Big Money Bets on a Housing Rebound
But, it turns out, sometimes when the system breaks down, there is money to be made.
Watch Out, Ratings Agencies.
ABN Amro had “employed two former employees of S&P” to learn the agency’s methods, the judge said. It knew, for example, that for S&P to give the derivatives the top rating, its models had to show a likely default rate of less than 0.728%.
Getting to Normal
The de facto default by Greece early this year ended investors’ complacency. The government bonds of peripheral eurozone countries thus became toxic. Given the unprecedented nature of the Greek default, the market valuation of peripheral debt has been fluctuating widely, still searching for “fundamentals,” such as deficit or debt levels, that could explain the evolution of risk premia over time.