It’s time to rate the Justice Department.
But before we grade it, I want to go on record with a serious proposal.
I think its name should be changed.
Why? To protect the innocent the department drags through the mud. Where’s the justice in that?
It’s not fair that an outfit with a name like the U.S. Department of Justice has the power to extract billions and billions of dollars in “settlements” from innocent, stalwart U.S. institutions.
So, let’s talk about fairness…
Another “Watchdog” With No Bite
This is the United States – and we need to protect the innocent.
Take S&P, for example. A wholly owned division of McGraw Hill Financial Inc. (NYSE: MHFI), Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC was found innocent on Tuesday of allegations it committed fraud.
What’s worse, the supposed fraud S&P committed was back in 2007. For justice’s sake, aren’t there statutes of limitations on this kind of harassment of systemically important financial institutions?
Apparently not. The Justice Department decided, years after the facts, to look under the hood at the ratings agency. S&P, for its part, was astonished that such a long time had passed and all of a sudden it was being investigated.
According to Standard & Poor’s, Justice was acting on behalf of the Obama administration in digging up such old, forgotten little stuff that really didn’t have any consequences, because S&P had the nerve to downgrade the United States’ credit rating on Aug. 5, 2011, and peeps were pissed.
Of course, it didn’t matter that Justice had gathered evidence against S&P. In fact, it amounted to such a small amount that when S&P demanded that Justice show the ratings agency what it really had, Justice had to forklift more than 290 million documents stacked up in a warehouse.
I mean, come on!
Well, the story has a sad ending for S&P and a happy ending for Justice, which is why I’m so upset.
S&P neither admitted nor denied systematically changing rating models in 2007 to guarantee higher ratings to issuers of hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities, so it wouldn’t lose business to competitors who were making the same accommodating moves. However, S&P agreed to pay about $1.5 billion to settle the matter.
It pains me to see the innocent fleeced such!
After Justice Department head hit man Eric Holder threw an in-your-face, take your place, you backstabbers, party announcing the settlement on Tuesday, the Poor’s wee-buggers caught up in this injustice sheepishly said that this settlement “contains no findings of violations of law.”
S&P will now have to fork over about a year’s net profit, or $687.5 million, to Justice, $687.5 million to a bunch of greedy states that joined the suit, and a bunch of money to some little pension outfit known as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).
Oh, the humanity!
So, before we grade Justice, using S&P’s rating system (yeah, now you’re going to get yours, Injustice Department!), I suggest we change their official name to the “U.S. Financial Services and Miscreants Settlement and Toll-Taking Department.”
Hold on, I’m checking with S&P on its rating grade…
Okay! S&P says if it was up to them, without even looking at one of its new models – which just happens to be under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as we speak – they’d give Justice a AAA rating.
Wow, that’s generous.
S&P explains – not really – that it looked to its municipal bond rating scale. Because Justice is a toll-taking business, S&P says it would classify it as a revenue-generating enterprise. And since Justice has the power to raise what it charges and go anywhere to force innocent peeps like us and our bank buddies through its booth, S&P says it’s an OUTSTANDING credit risk.
“So,” I replied, “that’s why none of you ever go to jail. You have to be free to pay the troll.”
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