All In's Chris Hayes sat down with Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi to discuss his new article on the ratings agencies that helped trigger the financial meltdown -- and surprise, surprise, nothing's been done to fix the problem after all this time.
Sen. Al Franken's trying to get his bill passed which would end Wall Street's pay-to-play credit rating system. It's infuriating to say the least that nothing's been done to take care of these conflicts of interest years ago.
It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it
What about the ratings agencies?
That's what "they" always say about the financial crisis and the teeming rat's nest of corruption it left behind. Everybody else got plenty of blame: the greed-fattened banks, the sleeping regulators, the unscrupulous mortgage hucksters like spray-tanned Countrywide ex-CEO Angelo Mozilo.
But what about the ratings agencies? Isn't it true that almost none of the fraud that's swallowed Wall Street in the past decade could have taken place without companies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's rubber-stamping it? Aren't they guilty, too?
Man, are they ever. And a lot more than even the least generous of us suspected.
Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits, documents that for the most part have never been seen by the general public, we now know that the nation's two top ratings companies, Moody's and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash.
In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked.