Friday, April 23, 2010

Ratings Agencies - Triple AAA is not the same as Triple AAA - huh? True.

Mr Cifuentes, testifying before todays Senate Special Investigative Subcommittee chaired by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) offered "a second level of complexity of the "tall building" as both determined AND defined and changeable by a ratings agency (S&P, Mooodys' or Fitch)." paraphrased.

Yet a third level of complexity also exists - that of the headline - a Triple AAA rated municipal is NOT the same credit as a triple AAA MBS - NOT the same as a triple AAA agency or sovereign.

Hence - this writer suggests - that ratings carry the category - such that category comes first - like RMBS - AAA - so that the ratings agency's distinction implicit in their models is disclosed to ALL end users - aka investors like insurance companies and pension plans.

Even better would be to tag it with the vintage year of initial rating - so that a new rating marque -

2006 - RMBS - AAA

discloses easily referenced information.

Ending the siesta on the US taxpayers' dime.

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