Ranking Member Waters' Statement on DOJ Suit Against S&P Rating Services
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to the announcement by the Department of Justice that it has filed a civil suit against Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P):
"I want to commend the Justice Department for taking long overdue action to hold S&P accountable for its conduct leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. For years, credit ratings agencies artificially inflated the housing market by issuing AAA ratings for securities based largely on predatory, subprime mortgages with little or no scrutiny. Due to the agencies' high ratings for collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and other toxic assets, many banks bought risky debts that they would have normally avoided, fueling the subprime meltdown that led to the financial crisis. Given the power and influence credit ratings agencies have on the market and investor confidence, they should be held to a higher standard of accountability. And to the extent any one credit ratings agency, or its employees, knowingly engaged in fraudulent conduct, the Justice Department should prosecute those offenses to the full extent of the law."