Rating agencies score a failing grade

Our readers give their opinion on rating agencies’ accountability in the wake of a damning verdict against Standard & Poor’s in Australia.

Rating agencies score a failing grade

Standard Poor’s took a beating in an Australian court last week after a judge found that the rating agency had been “misleading and deceptive” in its rating of a particular structured finance product.

A standard defence for credit rating agencies in these kinds of actions is to plead the First or, in other words, argue that their ratings are opinions protected by freedom-of-speech laws.

In most cases, courts have...

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