Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Barney Frank Declares War On Moody's

This one is looney tunes prime time material. Populist champion for the people, Barney Frank who earlier started war on mark-to-market and republicans, has added a new front to his offensive: Moody's rating agency. The reason: Frank's displeasure with the possibility that Moody's will downgrade America's municipalities as this "action will raise interest rates on cities and towns making it more expensive to borrow funds for infrastructure developments." As a result Frank threatens to hold a hearing in May to explore "the unfair treatment of full faith and credit general obligation bonds."

Several points here:

1.Why did nobody have a problem when Moody's was upgrading every piece of toxic paper in the universe?
2. Why did nobody have a problem when Moody's downgraded AIG and the ensuing collateral calls resulted in billions of taxpayer money being used to save the biggest black hole in financial history?
3. What will be the impact of Moody's eventual downgrade of the United State itself, whose GDP-to-debt ratio will soon easily surpass that of Ireland, which recently got some tender love from the raters?
4. Most obviously: just how far does Barney plan to take legislative intervention with regards to all future potential downgrades (or upgrades)? Will every rating action first have to get his seal of approval before it becomes public?

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Anonymous said...

its just a matter of time before this assclown passes a rule that stocks and houses cant go down

In Debt We Trust said...

GASB 53!

RichL said...

Rep. Frank is absolutely correct to look at this issue. The level of defaults for similarly rated corporates and structured product is MUCH higher than the default rates on muni issuers. This has been so for decades.

The cost to the municipal issuers to get a higher rating for "insurance" from near-bankrupt financial guarantors such as MBI and AGO allows the muni issuer to pay less for funding.

The reality is, if the muni issuers were rated on similar criteria to the rest of the Moody's ratings, that cost of insurance would be unnecessary.

The only joke here is that clown portfolio managers feel comfortable with the bogus MBI ratings.

qadi said...

Can Frank stop my hairline from receding, too?

great morgan's ghost said...

here'a a google for ya
barney (the purple people eater) --

erie morgan bloomberg swaptions

moodymann got nothin on JPM & dimonD$

Max Leverage said...

I'm not rooting for either side here.

Anonymous said...

If Braney Frank was on fire I wouldn't waste pissing on him . What a worthless POS . The most patriotic thing he could do is have a heart attack ...

Anonymous said...

someone should have told Frank that there was no reaction in the muni CDS or cash market post the Moody's downgrade. Munis should have been downgraded last year.

Anonymous said...

once again completelly clueless coment on this blog that pollutes there rest, as RichL said, the rating for munis and sovereigns has ALWAYS been skewed negativelly vs similar coroporates, to the great benefits of the monolines that were paying hefty fees to those 3 rating agencies in return of keep all they insured low rated and their own rating stupidly high

As for US vs Ireland, pls go back to the numbers, Ireland has a banking system 800% size of GDP, 500% if you exclude pure tax vehicle, this while they had the lowest tax in Europe to dump other Euro members, zero exchange rate flexibility. For reference, a lot of countrites withj 100% debt/GDP are still AAA, and US is only around 66% or sth.

So pls present facts so we all get smarter and stop those urban legends. cheers

patrick the painter said...

warren buffet owns 20% of moodys. Maybe it was warren at the request of Goldman to pull AIG rating

Anonymous said...

warren buffet owns 20% of moodys. Maybe it was warren at the request of Goldman to pull AIG rating