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Ratings agency sued in Australia for giving positive ratings to junk

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As the article says, there are similar cases in the US, but they are bogged down in the system. In the US, there do seem to be some efforts to demand more from the ratings agencies, but considering the damage done leading up to the 2008 crash, much more should be done. How is it so obvious to everyone that the ratings agencies were churning out dodgy information (often linked to contracts with those being rated) yet little changes? Maybe this will be the breakthrough needed to clean up the ratings agency cesspool.

Looking at the closing submissions which have now been filed with the Federal Court, the councils contend that S&P failed to exercise reasonable care and had “no reasonable grounds” for its AAA rating on the Rembrandts. The councils argue that this is supported by the limited historical data relied upon to rate the product. This was a new product, a “CPDO”, even more risky than a CDO and based on an index of derivatives which had only been going for a couple of years. They also say S&P made a “critical error” when it relied on the advice of investment bank ABN Amro regarding the Rembrandt's historical volatility. “Nobody from S&P ever checked that figure and it was not supported by any data... The figure became the cornerstone of the rating,” says the submissions.
Trillions of dollars were lost yet to date, no individual or company has been guilty of any crime. Amazing.

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