Friday, January 18, 2008

Deep thought for the day

Every time I read Atrios he is predicting the imminent failure of the bond insurers.

It is clear that there is real reason to doubt the ability of the insurers to meet their claims. But the insurers have been able to keep their AAA credit ratings in spite of this.

I spend quite a bit of time worrying about liability issues that could arise in security products. If you tell someone that something is safe and it turns out not to be you risk being sued.

Here we have an entire industry of bond rating agencies that are clearly peddling a blatant falsehood without any apparent consequences. AAA ratings should mean that the probability of default is negligible. At the very least we are facing a probability, not a possibility of default.

What type of liability-avoidance pixie dust do the bond rating agencies sprinkle on their product and where can I get some.

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