August 13, 2011
I just would like to say that the credit rating agencies have performed a very important function for the public over the past 40 or more years. I have a lot of faith in both Standard & Poor's Corp and Moody's to do the very best job they can in such a sea of companies and securities. To watch the criticisms of these firms on TV really annoyed me since I feel they are a help to the public and to investment professionals. Their problem is with cheaters who put items off their books, or products which "package" items such as mortgages with which they depend upon the initiators of loans and the investment bankers (brokers) who create and sell the products---it is a little like to trying to evaluate a "pig in the poke" to realistically pin down risk in all types of environments, or with many new gambling rather than investment vehicles created by professors concerned with mathematical theories of risk containment. How they can be expected to evaluate country risks when the legislators close to the government and in control of the laws cannot manage simple budgets is really an unrealistic expectation. I believe a lot of our country's banking problems are created by dividing responsibility, and losing accountability---as in when banks can make loans and sell them rather than hold them to payoff, and when products are created to simply bet on certain types of behaviors. With FHA loans the standards of the loans were very high, so transferring them from banks to FHA was not so bad. It was very bad judgment on the part of those who encouraged reducing standards to increase loans for everyone though, and now we are paying a price. At any rate, don't shoot our country in the foot by harassing these companies who have greatly served the public for many many years. And I don't think their services should be disregarded.
Linda T. Weinrich