Thoughts on tech, politics and economics
Time is running a survey of the 25 most guilty individuals in the credit crisis.
Phil Gramm leads the pack with almost 100,000 votes.
I’ve watched ‘House of Cards’ on CNBC (highly recommended) and while there were a lot of individuals and organizations that contributed to the crisis, it seems to me there was one one choke point where the problem could have been easily prevented: Ratings Agencies, of which there are only 3. If those 3 companies hadn’t slapped AAA rating on every piece of crap that banks laid on their desk there would not have been so much money available to make all those crapy loans which would made the housing bubble a lot smaller and a lot less pervasive. Seems to me that whoever is supposed to oversee the ratings agencies and whoever writes legislation relating to them are the ones that should be at the top of the list. Also, any reform that doesn’t properly address the effectiveness and accuracy of the ratings agencies will be useless.
I caught the show last Tuesday and have to agree. There may be a hundred different responsible parties, but the rating agencies failed so miserably at their one specific task, it’s hard to imagine they can continue to exist in their current form. There is just too much disinsentive in the current model for them to do their job effectively.
They will probably be regulated beyond recognition by upcoming legislation.
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