Given Standard and Poor's decision to downgrade the United States' sovereign debt rating, this may be a good time to remind ourselves of just how culpable this company is for the financial and economic crises our nation continues to face.

As Alain Sherter explains:

‎"In the years leading up to the housing bust, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch passed out AAA ratings like candy bars at Halloween. In mid-2007 and early 2008, with the real estate market in free-fall and mortgage delinquencies soaring, they suddenly started downgrading scads of formerly top-rated securities. In January of ‘08, for instance, S&P lowered ratings on more than 6,300 and 1,900 CDOs — in a single day…"

Oops. And, as Richard B. Margolies reported:

"Prior to the bursting of the housing bubble, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch each consistently provided positive credit grades on mortgage-backed securities despite the fact that they were extremely risky products. Much of the criticism of the credit rating agencies relates to the fact that these firms are paid by the issuers they rate and therefore have a conflict of interest."

I guess the taxpayers should have paid a commission.

If there were any justice, these people would have lost their jobs well before those harmed by their malfeasance the past few years.

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