Category: Rating agencies

A fool and his bond market are soon parted: Part 1, Call it a cliff, call it a precipice

4 December, 2013 (13:27) | Bankruptcy, Bonds, Chicago, Cities, Detroit, Local issues, Municipal Finance, Rahm Emanuel, Rating agencies, Real estate taxes, Speculation, US News |

By:David A. Smith   In Next up: Chicago, I spent three posts (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) documenting how the Windy City was following Detroit into certain municipal insolvency, and presented the prevaricating evasions offered by Chicago’s former chief auditor (now under indictment);   Last year, now-retiring City Comptroller Amer Ahmad argued that […]

A Grand Unified Theory of municipal insolvency: Part 1, Nothing but a poor man with money

4 June, 2013 (09:00) | Bonds, Cities, David Unkovic, Harrisburg, Infrastructure, Litigation, Loopholes, Municipal bankruptcy, Municipal Finance, Rating agencies, SEC, solid waste, US News |

  By:David A. Smith     Hangman: Have you any last wish? W. C. Fields: Yes, I’d like to see Paris before I die. (Pause) Philadelphia will do.   Philadelphia lawyer David Unkovic, a public-finance bond counsel for thirty years, is an unlikely urban theorist – but then, he recently had an unlikely experience. As I […]

Structured by cows: Part 2, As a cat laps milk

13 March, 2013 (09:00) | Litigation, Rating agencies, Securitization, Standard & Poor's, Subprime, US News |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk.  – William Shakespeare, The Tempest   Yesterday’s post delved into the juicy details deliberately provided by the Department of Justice in its $5 billion lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s, as reported in the Wall Street Journal (February […]

Structured by cows: Part 1, Fastest animal on earth?

12 March, 2013 (09:00) | Litigation, Rating agencies, Securitization, Standard & Poor's, Subprime, US News |

By:David A. Smith   A CDO could be structured by cows and we would rate it. – Unnamed S&P employee cited in Department of Justice Lawsuit   Too chicken to rate my securities?   People like stories, especially parables, especially parables that reinforce our moral views of the world.  Because of this, we should be […]

It’s about time, five billion bucks’ worth: Part 2, Three types of fraud

12 February, 2013 (09:00) | Enforcement, Fitch, Litigation, Moody's, Rating agencies, Regulation, Securitization, Standard & Poor's, Subprime, US News |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   Yesterday’s post on the spectacle of the Department of Justice suing Standard & Poor’s, reported in the Wall Street Journal (February 5, 2013), led us to the point of examining the Justice Department’s initial brief, helpfully reported in the Wall Street Journal (February 6, 2013) […]