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Tags: S&P | DOJ | rating | credit

WSJ: S&P Appears to be Victim of Political Prosecution in DOJ Suit

By    |   Wednesday, 11 September 2013 08:08 AM

Standard & Poor's seems justified in accusing the Department of Justice (DOJ) of suing it "in retaliation" for downgrading the government's credit rating in August 2011, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

The DOJ is suing S&P for $5 billion, alleging that it defrauded banks before the 2008-09 financial crisis by doling out unjustifiably high ratings to mortgage securities that the banks bought.

The DOJ accuses S&P of giving the high ratings to satisfy the banks issuing the securities, which paid for the ratings.

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

S&P claims in a court filing that DOJ is hitting it back for exercising its "free speech rights" when it comes to lowering its credit rating for the U.S. government.

"S&P may have a point, and more importantly a federal judge is doing the public service of giving the credit-rating firm a chance to prove it," the editorial says.

"Last winter S&P lawyer Floyd Abrams told us that 'things seemed to rev up in terms of the intensity' of the federal investigation after the firm's historic downgrade of U.S. credit. It sure looks that way based on the timeline leading up to the August 2011 downgrade," it adds.

"We don't think Justice's dubious claims should be leveled against anyone, and its banks-as-victims argument is ludicrous. But far more troubling is that this case has the aroma of political payback."

So will the government win its suit against S&P? "That's far from obvious," writes Paul Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek

"There's a big difference between incompetence and fraud. Eventually, S&P will have to narrow its defense to the matter of whether its closely followed and highly lucrative predictions were faulty or dishonest."

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

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FinanceNews
Standard & Poor's seems justified in accusing the Department of Justice (DOJ) of suing it "in retaliation" for downgrading the government's credit rating in August 2011, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.
S&P,DOJ,rating,credit
291
2013-08-11
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 08:08 AM
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