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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Capitalism's quote of the day

A financial writer was trying to track down the source of the financial crisis, from greedy loan marketers to failures at rating agencies overseeing complex "collateralized debt obligations" (CDOs), and heard this from a hedge fund manager that had seen the problems early:
[Eisman, hedge fund manager]: ‘Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.’ He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S.& P. couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number. ‘They were just assuming home prices would keep going up,’ Eisman says.” [emphasis mine]
These are the guardians of our markets.  

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