Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fitch, Moody's and S&P; Ratings or Reassurance Agencies ?

Lehman has filed for Chapter 11 and is toast.
The stock plummeted to 19cents.
The ratings agencies in America- Fitch, Moody's and S&P - are all SEC (government) sponsored. In the past, they haven't performed their role as ratings agencies nearly as well as they should have.
In fact, to get the cushy position of SEC approved ratings agencies, they have been deliberately optimistic to the point of blindness.

Only yesterday did Fitch change its ratings on Lehman down from A+ to D.

--Long-term IDR to 'D' from 'A+';
--Short-term IDR to 'D' from 'F1';
--Senior debt to 'CCC' from 'A+';
--Subordinated debt to 'C' from 'A';
--Preferred stock to 'C' from 'A'.

What a joke. As Mike Shedlock puts it best, its time to break up the credit rating cartel.