Credit ratings agencies might end up paying for role in financial crisis

A judge's refusal to dismiss a case against an investment bank and a few ratings agencies for their role in the structured investment vehicle collapse of 2007 raises the possibility that those defendants might actually be required to pay for wrapping toxic waste in golden paper. (SIVs are money market-like financial instruments.)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and King County in Washington state sued Morgan Stanley (MS), Moody's (MCO), and Standard & Poor's, a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill (MHP). According to Bloomberg, "The case concerns notes issued by SIV, Cheyne Finance Plc, that collapsed in 2007. It received the 'highest credit ratings ever given to capital notes,' according to the ruling. SIVs issued short-term debt to fund purchases of higher-yielding long-term notes and failed when credit dried up amid the financial crisis."