Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008

The Rating Agencies

Their failings were part of the larger inability of Wall Street to do securitization right, and their employees didn't get paid nearly as much as the investment-bank guys engineering the dodgy investment products they rated. That's why the rating agencies aren't in the top 10. But the willingness of Moody's, S&P and Fitch to grant top ratings to untested new securities like collateralized debt obligations made possible a lot of staggeringly dumb deals that otherwise would never have seen the light of day.

See the worst business deals of 2008.