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Thursday, February 7, 2013

S. & P. Sued for $5 Billion: Breaking a Conflict of Interest?

In sending a message to S & P as well as Wall Street more generally regarding the excesses in the securitization of subprime mortgages that contributed materially to the financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. Government and several state governments announced in early 2013 that they would sue S & P for $5 billion as a penalty and to cover damages to state pension funds and federally-insured banks and credit unions.  The operative assumption was that such a monetary figure would have considerable force as a disincentive to profit by means of fraud.  Would $5 billion be sufficient for the message to be delivered not only S. & P. but also to Wall Street? 

The full essay is at "Essays on the Financial Crisis, and
 Institutional Conflicts of Interest, both available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.