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It’s time for the raters to come clean

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Revelations on Moody’s mis-rating of CPDOs could be the most damaging yet.

At the start of this year, Moody’s published a research piece entitled ‘Archaeology of the crisis’. One might have expected the rating agency to steer clear of digging up the bones of the sub-prime debacle, as it, along with its fellow raters, wrongly classed billions of dollars of sub-prime RMBS and ABS CDOs as top-quality securities. It seemed that the rating agency was starting 2008 with a New Year confessional.

But this was no mea culpa. Rather, Moody’s argument boiled down to this: "It is wrong to blame us or other actors for what has just taken place, because things are so complicated it is virtually impossible for anyone...