Trending Thursday: Housing, mortgage finance getting a break from Washington?

Trending Thursday: Housing, mortgage finance getting a break from Washington?

Plus untying Fannie, Freddie and the whole Gordian knot of conservatorship

Existing home sales crater in April, falling 3.3%

Spring buying stalls out after strong March performance

It's official: NYDFS Superintendent Ben Lawsky stepping down

4 years as leader of “long reach” New York financial regulator
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Raters draw SEC scrutiny

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U.S. securities regulators are weighing civil fraud charges against some credit-rating companies for their role in developing the mortgage-bond deals that helped unleash the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission's long-running probe into the deals has widened to the major credit-rating firms, including Standard & Poor's, the people said. The leading ratings companies have been criticized by lawmakers as "key enablers" of the financial meltdown, helping to fuel the $1 trillion Wall Street mortgage-securities machine before the boom ended.

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