Law in Contemporary Society
Here is the article that Eben was talking about the other day in class regarding the rating agencies' conflict of interest with their clients as a culpably contributing factor to billions of dollars in bank write-offs and tens of thousands of jobs lost.

A great quote relevant to our reading of Arthur Leff's Ponzi scheme is reproduced below. What do you think of the conclusion at the end of the paragraph?

"The analyst wasn’t evaluating the mortgages but, rather, the bonds issued by the investment vehicle created to house them. A so-called special-purpose vehicle — a ghost corporation with no people or furniture and no assets either until the deal was struck — would purchase the mortgages. Thereafter, monthly payments from the homeowners would go to the S.P.V. The S.P.V. would finance itself by selling bonds. The question for Moody’s was whether the inflow of mortgage checks would cover the outgoing payments to bondholders. From the investment bank’s point of view, the key to the deal was obtaining a triple-A rating — without which the deal wouldn’t be profitable. That a vehicle backed by subprime mortgages could borrow at triple-A rates seems like a trick of finance. “People say, ‘How can you create triple-A out of B-rated paper?’ ” notes Arturo Cifuentes, a former Moody’s credit analyst who now designs credit instruments. It may seem like a scam, but it’s not."

-- JesseCreed - 27 Apr 2008



Webs Webs

r2 - 14 Jan 2015 - 22:06:34 - IanSullivan
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