Last Friday, I jokingly wrote:
I'm giving odds of 10:1 that New York AG Andrew Cuomo muscles his way into the headlines, somehow, next week.
Turns out he did just that. Cuomo came out firing Friday against proposed reform efforts by leading rating agencies announced earlier this week, according to various media reports, saying the proposals are "too little, too late." "Both S&P and Moody's are attempting to make piecemeal changes that seem more like public relations window dressing than systemic reform," Cuomo said in a statement. Moody's said Tuesday that it was considering an overhaul of its MBS ratings, while Standard & Poor's rolled out a series of new governance procedures (detailed on a new Web site, Both agencies say they are working with Cuomo's office and taking necessary steps to restore investor confidence. From the WaPo:
"The actions that we are taking today are meaningful and will be important measures to serve the capital markets," S&P spokesman Steven Weiss said in a telephone interview. He said the initiatives pursued by S&P "are making a fundamentally good process better." S&P said the company was responding to the subpoena it received in September and is "interacting with the attorney general's office." "We certainly welcome feedback from all market participants and look forward to further constructive dialogue," Moody's spokesman Anthony Mirenda said, responding to Cuomo's statement.
The rating agencies have been taking plenty of heat this week, even from industry insiders at the recently-concluded American Securitization Forum, as HW reported on Monday.