Standard & Poor's Ratings Lawsuit

  • Aired:  02/14/13
  •  | Views: 14,077

The government grows a pair and goes after S&P for giving AAA ratings to what they knew were worthless securities. (3:30)

EITHER THAT, OR YOU KNOW PICK UP SOME ROSES AT THE DELI.

GIRLS LIKE THAT STUFF.

[LAUGHTER]

NATION, IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN.

AND WHILE EVEN I USED TO BE MAD AT WALL STREET-- AT THIS POINT, WHO CAN EVEN REMEMBER WHO WIRED

THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM TO A ROULETTE WHEEL WHILE JACKED ON ENOUGH COCAINE TO BRING DOWN A BISON?

[LAUGHTER]

AND YET THE MADDOW-BLAZER-WEARING EZRA KLEIN-HOLES OUT THERE ARE STILL CALLING FOR BANKERS TO GO TO JAIL.

WHY CAN'T THEY JUST LET BYGONE PENSIONS BE BYGONES?

[LAUGHTER]

NOW THE BANKS ARE ALSO GETTING HEAT FROM CONGRESS.

AND NOT IN THE USUAL WAY, WITH A WARM TONGUE BATH.

[LAUGHTER]

NO.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

TWO WEEKS AGO --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

CALM DOWN.

[ LAUGHTER ]

ALSO A BIG PART OF LUPACALIA.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

TWO WEEKS AGO, SENATORS CHUCK GRASSLEY AND SHERROD BROWN ACCUSED THE BANKS OF NOT ONLY

BEING TOO BIG TO FAIL BUT ALSO, "TOO BIG TO JAIL."

[LAUGHTER]

MAYBE SO.

BUT HAVEN'T THEY BEEN PUNISHED ENOUGH WITH STINGING WORDPLAY LIKE THAT?

[LAUGHTER]

AND FOLKS, I WANT YOU TO KNOW THIS IS A PERSONAL ISSUE FOR ME BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS

ON WALL STREET.

WE'RE SUPER-TIGHT.

THEY CALL ME UP AND GIVE ME STOCK TIPS, AND I PAY THEM.

[LAUGHTER]

WELL, I'VE GOT SOME BAD NEWS FOR MY BRO-- KERS

[LAUGHTER]

THE GOVERNMENT HAS FINALLY GROWN A PAIR.

>> THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND 16 STATES DECLARED A KIND OF LEGAL WAR ON S&P, THE HUGE RATINGS AGENCY.

>> THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ACCUSES S&P OF A SCHEME TO DEFRAUD INVESTORS.

>> THE FEDS HAVE FILED A $5 BILLION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE RATING AGENCY STANDARD AND

POOR'S, CLAIMING THAT IT COMMITTED FRAUD WHEN IT GAVE HIGH RATINGS TO RISKY MORTGAGES.

>> Stephen: THE GOVERNMENT CLAIMS STANDARD AND POOR'S COMMITTED FRAUD BY GIVING

TRIPLE-A RATINGS TO WHAT IT KNEW WERE WORTHLESS SECURITIES.

FOLKS, THAT'S (bleep)!

[LAUGHTER]

(bleep), BY THE WAY, ALSO GETS A TRIPLE-A RATING FROM STANDARD AND POOR'S.

[LAUGHTER]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

FOLKS, TODAY THEY COME FOR THE RATINGS AGENCIES, TOMORROW THEY COME FOR THE BANKS, AND THAT'S

THE LAST THING OUR ECONOMY NEEDS.

A GALLUP POLL FOUND THAT CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN BANKS IS ALREADY AT AN ALL-TIME LOW.

THAT INCLUDES THE 1930'S, WHEN BANKERS LOWERED CONFIDENCE BY OCCASIONALLY LANDING ON CONSUMERS.

[LAUGHTER]

AND I BELIEVE THAT AN INVESTIGATION WILL JUST MAKE THINGS WORSE.

I DON'T THINK THE BANKS ARE IN ANY FINANCIAL POSITION TO REVEAL WHAT FINANCIAL POSITION THEY'RE IN.

[LAUGHTER]

TAKE WELLS FARGO.

THEIR RECENT ANNUAL REPORT SAID THAT THE BANK'S VALUE IS PARTLY BASED ON, QUOTE, "SIGNIFICANT

ASSUMPTIONS NOT OBSERVABLE IN THE MARKET."

[LAUGHTER]

THAT MEANS THE VALUE OF THE LARGEST CAPITALIZED BANK IN THE UNITED STATES DEFIES OBSERVATION.

[LAUGHTER]

THE HUMAN MIND CANNOT PERCEIVE IT.

WE DARE NOT LOOK UPON IT.

[LAUGHTER]

REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ACCOUNTANTS WHO OPENED LEHM

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