Oh I saw this one coming.
According to NYT, who would surely know:
The Department of Justice is investigating whether the nation’s largest credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, according to two people interviewed by the government and another briefed on such interviews.
Actually what they’re doing is punishing S&P for rightfully downgrading America’s debt rating. But the admin can’t just come out and say so.
The Justice Department has been asking about instances in which the agency’s analysts wanted to award lower ratings on mortgage bonds but may have been overruled by S.&P. executives, according to the people with knowledge of the interviews.
The investigation began before Standard & Poor’s cut the United States’ triple-A credit rating this month, but is likely to add fuel to the political firestorm that has surrounded that action.
Nice attempt at a pre-emptive strike, but ultimately FAIL.
This smells a bit Chicagoish to me. Payback is a bitch.