Inside Financial Services

Those Morons at Moody’s

The agency's logic behind a possible downgrade defies belief

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The logic the rating agencies come up with never fails to entertain. Now Moody’s says it’s thinking of downgrading U.S. Bancorp.-a company that cruised through the credit panic, remember, and is easily one of the best-managed companies in the country-because of “increasing competition now that [USB’s] peers have largely returned to health and are actively seeking growth.”

Good lord, are those Moody’s people idiots. First, if USB’s competitors are doing so much better now, is Moody’s considering upgrading them? Um, no. Did USB itself get an upgrade back when its competitors were flailing while it was prospering? No, again. Instead, Moody’s has somehow come to believe that USB’s financial strength might have deteriorated because it . . . continues to operate in a normal, cyclical competitive market in which it has proven, material competitive advantages. How do they come up with this?

If you had to blame a single group for the credit crunch and its aftermath, it would be the rating agencies. If they hadn’t figured out a rationale for rating subprime paper triple-A in the first place, the crackup never would have happened. And yet you see how their “reasoning” works. Fools. I’m at a loss to see why anyone takes their judgments seriously anymore.

What do you think? Let me know!

17 Responses to “Those Morons at Moody’s”

  1. XL

    For once I agree with you. However to blame the rating agencies without blaming the investment banks for the recent meltdown is simplistic in the extreme. There was collusion at every level, whether covert or overt doesn’t matter.

  2. Doug Aden

    I am a retired USB employee and long time shareholder. I agree with you completely. If they downgrade USB, they should take C and BAC down as far as they can go.

  3. Brian H

    Pretty spot on. It does seem like your rants seem to come in streaks though

  4. Right Winger

    I mostly agree with Tom, but if I had to pick “a single group” to blame for this mess, it would have to be the Democrats. Because that’s just how I roll! 🙂

  5. The obvious

    Seriously!!?? I echoe everyones point and then some. Take any measure of a banks success and compare it to the peers and its obvious. Ill be making a purchase soon lets put it that way…………

  6. littlecat

    i run a company (anonymous name) where moodys once downgraded a tranche of an abs issued by us that was fully cash collaterized and awaiting the appropriate distribution date. i am wide open to them not liking me or my business, but how can you downgrade cash….. the rating agencies are clowns.

  7. Puredakota

    This may create an opportunity to buy into best banks at an even better price! Money in their stock will give a better return than in Moody’s favorites.

  8. PMM

    Tom you are spot on! Anyone who takes Moody’s or any other credit rating agency seriously is nuts! PMM
    The one thing Dodd Frank failed to do was to eliminate the requirement that institutions have to have
    investment grades on their asset purchases. If there was no requirement of these crutches, management
    would have no other choice than to employ real analysts, underwriters and managers, that have proven
    expertise. PMM

  9. rivvir

    Agreed. And agreed with Puredakota. Take advantage of the stupidities in the market when they are displayed.

  10. gweedoh79

    Those that can do. Those that can’t go to work for Moody’s. Simple as that.

  11. Y9

    Of course the triple-A rating was not appropriate, but also to blame are those that took out home loans they could not afford. However, it appears the rating agencies knew they would not be held accountable if anything went wrong. Take a look at their standard contract agreement material. (You need to take the time).

  12. Y9

    Of course the triple-A rating was not appropriate, but also to blame are those that took out home loans they could not afford. However, it appears the rating agencies knew they would not be held accountable if anything went wrong. Take a look at their standard contract agreement material. (You need to take the time).

  13. Bawa

    Tom I completely agree with you, these rating agencies are morons and more so they typically rate corporates thru the cycle

  14. dacker

    Could not agree more.
    Why are they allowed to be so incompetant?
    Since the Goverment had to “bail out” the system, should they not make Moody’s accountable?

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