Judge Throws Book at S&P Over Shoddy Rating Practices

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Good news! Standard & Poor’s is finally being held to account for transparently manipulating its own models solely in order to give one of its customers a AAA rating for a rocket-science derivative product. Long story short, they plugged in whatever numbers it took to generate the AAA rating, even though they knew the numbers were bogus. In fact, says Felix Salmon, if they had plugged in reasonable numbers, “the CPDO would almost certainly not even have been investment grade, let alone triple-A.”

And the bad news? The ruling came from an Australian judge. And it’s 635,500 words long (!). Wouldn’t it be nice to get a few rulings like this from American judges too? In the meantime, Felix has a reasonably understandable explanation of the whole thing here. Read it and weep.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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