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Moodys Corp

Moodys Corp (MCO)

At close: July 15 4:00PM
( 0.00% )
After Hours: 4:34PM

Professional-Grade Tools, for Individual Investors.

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Current Price
445.99 Day's Range 449.575
298.86 52 Week Range 451.19
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$ 301,814,700
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About Moodys Corp

Moody's, along with S&P Ratings, is a leading provider of credit ratings on fixed income securities. Moody's ratings segment, known as Moody's Investors Service or MIS, includes corporates, structured finance, financial institutions, and public finance ratings. MIS represents a majority of the firm'... Moody's, along with S&P Ratings, is a leading provider of credit ratings on fixed income securities. Moody's ratings segment, known as Moody's Investors Service or MIS, includes corporates, structured finance, financial institutions, and public finance ratings. MIS represents a majority of the firm's revenue and profits. Moody's other segment is Moody's Analytics and consists of Research, Data, and Analytics or RD&A and Enterprise Risk Solutions or ERS. RD&A's products include credit research, quantitative credit scores, economic research, business intelligence, know your customer (KYC) tools, commercial real estate data and analytical tools, and training services. ERS includes risk management software solutions to financial institutions. Show more

Credit Reporting Agencies
Credit Reporting Agencies
Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Moodys Corp is listed in the Credit Reporting Agencies sector of the New York Stock Exchange with ticker MCO. The last closing price for Moodys was $445.98. Over the last year, Moodys shares have traded in a share price range of $ 298.86 to $ 451.19.

Moodys currently has 182,600,000 shares outstanding. The market capitalization of Moodys is $81.44 billion. Moodys has a price to earnings ratio (PE ratio) of 50.76.

Moodys (MCO) Options Flow Summary

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MCO Latest News

Date Set For Moody's Earnings Release And Investor Teleconference

Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO) will release its second quarter 2024 results before the start of NYSE trading on Tuesday, July 23, 2024. A copy of the earnings release and supplemental...

Moody's acquiert entièrement GCR Ratings, intensifiant ainsi sa présence sur les marchés nationaux du crédit en Afrique

Moody's Corporation (NYSE : MCO) a annoncé aujourd'hui l'acquisition de Global Credit Rating Company Limited (GCR), une agence de notation de crédit nationale de premier plan, implantée en...

Moody’s Fully Acquires GCR Ratings, Deepening Presence in Africa’s Domestic Credit Markets

Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) announced today that it has fully acquired Global Credit Rating Company Limited (GCR), a leading domestic credit rating agency with operations spanning Africa. The...


(ビジネスワイヤ) -- MSCI(NYSE: MSCI)とムーディーズ・コーポレーション(NYSE:MCO)は、双方の強みを生かし、ESGと持続可能性に関する透明性の向上と意思決定の強化を狙う、画期的な戦略的パートナーシ...

Moody's et MSCI annoncent un partenariat stratégique visant à améliorer la transparence et à fournir des solutions de risque basées sur des données

MSCI Inc. (NYSE : MSCI) et Moody's Corporation (NYSE : MCO) ont annoncé aujourd'hui un accord de partenariat stratégique innovant, capitalisant sur les forces de chacun pour améliorer d'une part...

Moody’s und MSCI schließen strategische Partnerschaft zur Verbesserung der Transparenz und Bereitstellung datengestützter Risikolösungen

MSCI Inc. (NYSE:MSCI) und die Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) gaben heute eine richtungsweisende strategische Partnerschaft bekannt, bei der die Stärken des jeweils anderen Partners dafür genutzt...

Moody’s and MSCI Announce a Strategic Partnership to Enhance Transparency and Deliver Data-Driven Risk Solutions

MSCI Inc. (NYSE:MSCI) and Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) today announced a groundbreaking strategic partnership agreement, leveraging each other’s strengths to bring greater transparency on ESG...

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MCO Discussion

View Posts
Monksdream Monksdream 1 day ago
MCO 10Q due JULY23
Monksdream Monksdream 7 months ago
MCO new 52 week low
ECole ECole 11 years ago
Moody's Analytics Conference Call with Barclays

Gets a little deeper into what Moody's Analytics is all about.. read here
cmb cmb 11 years ago
A few insiders closed their positions this week
equitybook equitybook 11 years ago
Jeff Immelt, Peter Kellogg, Lloyd Blankfein, Gerald Putnam, Larry Leibowitz, Duncan Niederauer, Mark Zuckerberg, Greg Shrader, Tim Cook & John Colby,

I inserted the morelaw link and the collusion link twice in the summary for your Due Diligence.

Pat Bolland and CNBC Television was promoting Redibook on CNBC Television from the year 1999 and the year 2000.

CNBC Television and Pat Bolland was promoting a Phantom Company name Redibook owned by Spear Leeds & Kellogg that did not exist as a Corporation in the year 1999 and the year 2000.

Redibook owned by Spear Leeds & Kellogg was not registered as a Stock Exchange or a Broker Dealer with the NASD(FINRA) and the SEC in the year 1999 and the year 2000.

Feel free to view the Pat Bolland Market Wrap Segment Archives on CNBC Television from the year 1999 and the year 2000.

Redibook owned by Spear Leeds & Kellogg did not have a Website and had no Internet Presence in the year 1999 and the year 2000 or prior to those years for that matter.

On September 11 2000 Goldman Sachs acquired Redibook and Spear Leeds & Kellogg for 6.5 Billion Dollars while Richard Rosado was in active litigation with Spear Leeds & Kellogg, the active litigation between Spear Leeds & Kellogg and Richard Rosado ended on December 7 2000, Goldman Sachs conducted an Initial Public Offering in the year 1999 with the advanced motive of acquiring Spear Leeds & Kellogg and Redibook.

Goldman Sachs Initial Public Offering should be cancelled and the Goldman Sachs merger with Redibook and Spear Leeds & Kellogg should also be cancelled and the subsequent Mergers and Initial Public Offerings.

Best Regards
Richard Rosado

Lawson Digest Lawson Digest 11 years ago
Buy as much as you can at these low prices, because this is one hell of a discount!

Look at the recent FY12 & Q4 reports:

4Q12 revenue of $754.2 million up 33% from 4Q11
4Q12 reported EPS of $0.70 up 63% from 4Q11
FY 2012 revenue of $2,730.3 million up 20% from FY 2011
FY 2012 reported EPS of $3.05 and FY 2012 pro-forma EPS of $2.99, both up 22% from FY 2011
Projected FY 2013 EPS between $3.45 and $3.55

Read More At IBD:
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

This is a SOLID company that isn't going to suffer from some stupid lawsuit.

Buy this while it's low!
fourkids_9pets fourkids_9pets 14 years ago

Moody's discloses Wells Notice from SEC

May 8, 2010, 11:52 a.m. EDT · Recommend · Post:

Moody's Corp. (MCO 23.36, -0.18, -0.76%) said late Friday that it received a Wells notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission in March alleging that it had made "false and misleading" statements submitted as part of an application to register as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization in 2008.

That registration is a stamp of approval that the SEC grants ratings agencies that allows them to conduct business.

Moody's, parent of Moody's Investors Service, said it disputes that allegation, arguing that one incident in which employees were accused of violating its standards of professional conduct doesn't make those standards "false and misleading."

In a statement Friday, Moody's said the Wells notice, which is an official notification from the SEC that a company is being investigated, relates to an issue it disclosed in 2008, when members of one European constant proportion debt obligations monitoring committee may have violated its code of professional conduct. "At the time, we reported the incident to regulators and initiated disciplinary proceedings against these employees, including terminations."

A Moody's spokesman added, "We have responded to all the requests on the matter by the SEC staff and will continue to do so."

Moody's is one of the three major rating agencies, along with Standard & Poor's and Fitch, that have been the target of criticism for missing risks, and giving top ratings to assets that ultimately collapsed in value. In July 2008, Moody's acknowledged that it had an error in the way it rated constant proportion debt obligations, or CPDOs, that would have lowered AAA ratings given to the 11 CPDOs to AA territory--or a reduction of one to three notches. But this didn't take into account "qualitative factors" that Moody's committees also consider in the firm's ratings.

Moody's found that some members of its CPDO monitoring committee in Europe considered factors other than credit--namely whether changing the rating would be embarrassing to Moody's or affect another market participant.

As part of the investigation, Moody's announced that an executive overseeing the division, Noel Kirnon, was leaving the firm following an internal investigation by law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP that began in May 2008 and focused on the CPDO error. Other people who worked for Kirnon also left after the internal investigation.

Moody's shares fell 1% to $23.12 in after-hours trading.

(Aaron Lucchetti and Serena Ng contributed to this article.)

all jmo
MWM MWM 14 years ago
Big move today!

JohnnyWinter JohnnyWinter 15 years ago
How Moody's sold its ratings - and sold out investors

WASHINGTON -- As the housing market collapsed in late 2007, Moody's Investors Service, whose investment ratings were widely trusted, responded by purging analysts and executives who warned of trouble and promoting those who helped Wall Street plunge the country into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

A McClatchy investigation has found that Moody's punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings.

Instead, Moody's promoted executives who headed its "structured finance" division, which assisted Wall Street in packaging loans into securities for sale to investors. It also stacked its compliance department with the people who awarded the highest ratings to pools of mortgages that soon were downgraded to junk. Such products have another name now: "toxic assets."

As Congress tackles the broadest proposed overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s, however, lawmakers still aren't fully aware of what went wrong at the bond rating agencies, and so they may fail to address misaligned incentives such as granting stock options to mid-level employees, which can be an incentive to issue positive ratings rather than honest ones.

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a blistering report on how profit motives had undermined the integrity of ratings at Moody's and its main competitors, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, in July 2008, but the full extent of Moody's internal strife never has been publicly revealed.

Moody's, which rates McClatchy's debt and assigns it quite low value, disputes every allegation against it. "Moody's has rigorous standards in place to protect the integrity of ratings from commercial considerations," said Michael Adler, Moody's vice president for corporate communications, in an e-mail response to McClatchy.

Insiders, however, say that wasn't true before the financial meltdown.

"The story at Moody's doesn't start in 2007; it starts in 2000," said Mark Froeba, a Harvard-educated lawyer and senior vice president who joined Moody's structured finance group in 1997.

"This was a systematic and aggressive strategy to replace a culture that was very conservative, an accuracy-and-quality oriented (culture), a getting-the-rating-right kind of culture, with a culture that was supposed to be 'business-friendly,' but was consistently less likely to assign a rating that was tougher than our competitors," Froeba said.

After Froeba and others raised concerns that the methodology Moody's was using to rate investment offerings allowed the firm's profit interests to trump honest ratings, he and nine other outspoken critics in his group were "downsized" in December 2007.

"As a matter of policy, Moody's does not comment on personnel matters, but no employee has ever been let go for trying to strengthen our compliance function," Adler said.

Moody's was spun off from Dun & Bradstreet in 2000, and the first company shares began trading on Oct. 31 that year at $12.57. Executives set out to erase a conservative corporate culture.

To promote competition, in the 1970s ratings agencies were allowed to switch from having investors pay for ratings to having the issuers of debt pay for them. That led the ratings agencies to compete for business by currying favor with investment banks that would pay handsomely for the ratings they wanted.

Wall Street paid as much as $1 million for some ratings, and ratings agency profits soared. This new revenue stream swamped earnings from ordinary ratings.

"In 2001, Moody's had revenues of $800.7 million; in 2005, they were up to $1.73 billion; and in 2006, $2.037 billion. The exploding profits were fees from packaging . . . and for granting the top-class AAA ratings, which were supposed to mean they were as safe as U.S. government securities," said Lawrence McDonald in his recent book, "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense."

He's a former vice president at now defunct Lehman Brothers, one of the highflying investment banks that helped create the global crisis.

From late 2006 through early last year, however, the housing market unraveled, poisoning first mortgage finance, then global finance. More than 60 percent of the bonds backed by mortgages have had their ratings downgraded.

"How on earth could a bond issue be AAA one day and junk the next unless something spectacularly stupid has taken place? But maybe it was something spectacularly dishonest, like taking that colossal amount of fees in return for doing what Lehman and the rest wanted," McDonald wrote.

Ratings agencies thrived on the profits that came from giving the investment banks what they wanted, and investors worldwide gorged themselves on bonds backed by U.S. car loans, credit card debt, student loans and, especially, mortgages.

Before granting AAA ratings to bonds that pension funds, university endowments and other institutional investors trusted, the ratings agencies didn't bother to scrutinize the loans that were being pooled into the bonds. Instead, they relied on malleable mathematical models that proved worthless.

"Everyone else goes out and does factual verification or due diligence. The credit rating agencies state that they are just assuming the facts that they are given," said John Coffee, a finance expert at Columbia University. "This system will not get fixed until someone credible does the necessary due diligence."

Nobody cared about due diligence so long as the money kept pouring in during the housing boom. Moody's stock peaked in February 2007 at more than $72 a share.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's firm Berkshire Hathaway owned 15 percent of Moody's stock by the end of 2001, company reports show. That stake, largely still intact, meant that the Oracle from Omaha reaped huge financial rewards while Moody's overlooked the glaring problems in pools of subprime mortgages.

A Berkshire spokeswoman had no comment.

One Moody's executive who soared through the ranks during the boom years was Brian Clarkson, the guru of structured finance. He was promoted to company president just as the bottom fell out of the housing market.

Several former Moody's executives said he made subordinates fear they'd be fired if they didn't issue ratings that matched competitors' and helped preserve Moody's market share.

Froeba said his Moody's team manager would tell his team that he, the manager, would be fired if Moody's lost a single deal. "If your manager is saying that at meetings, what is he trying to tell you?" Froeba asked.

In the 1990s, Sylvain Raynes helped pioneer the rating of so-called exotic assets. He worked for Clarkson.

"In my days, I was pressured to do nothing, to not do my job," said Raynes, who left Moody's in 1997. "I saw in two instances -- two deals and a rental car deal -- manipulation of the rating process to the detriment of investors."

When Moody's went public in 2000, mid-level executives were given stock options. That gave them an incentive to consider not just the accuracy of their ratings, but the effect they'd have on Moody's -- and their own -- bottom lines.

"It didn't force you into a corrupt decision, but none of us thought we were going to make money working there, and suddenly you look at a statement online and it's (worth) hundreds and hundreds of thousands (of dollars). And it's beyond your wildest dreams working there that you could make that kind of money," said one former mid-level manager, who requested anonymity to protect his current Wall Street job.

Moody's spokesman Adler insisted that compensation of Moody's analysts and senior managers "is not linked to the financial performance of their business unit."

Clarkson couldn't be reached to comment.

Clarkson's own net worth was tied up in Moody's market share. By the time he was pushed out in May 2008, his compensation approached $3 million a year.

Clarkson rose to the top in August 2007, just as the subprime crisis was claiming its first victims. Soon afterward, a number of analysts and compliance officials who'd raised concerns about the soundness of the ratings process were purged and replaced with people from structured finance.

"The CEO is from a structured finance background, most of the people in the leadership were from a structured finance background, and it was putting their people in the right places," said Eric Kolchinsky, a managing director in Moody's structured finance division from January 2007 to November 2007, when he was purged, he said, for questioning some of the ratings. "If they were serious about compliance, they wouldn't have done that, because it isn't about having friends in the right places, but doing the right job."

Another mid-level Moody's executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, recalls being horrified by the purge.

"It is just something unthinkable, putting business people in the compliance department. It's not acceptable. I was very upset, frustrated," the executive said. "I think they corrupted the compliance department."

One of the new top executives was Michael Kanef, who was experienced in assembling pools of residential mortgage-backed securities, but not in compliance, the division that was supposed to protect investors.

"What signal does it send when you put someone who ran the group that assigned some of the worst ratings in Moody's history in charge of preventing it from happening again," Froeba said of Kanef. Clarkson and Kanef, who remains at Moody's, were named in a class-action lawsuit alleging that Moody's misled investors about its independence from companies that paid it for ratings.

Kanef went after Scott McCleskey, the vice president of compliance at Moody's from the spring of 2006 until September 2008, and the man that Moody's said was the one to see for all compliance matters.

"It's speculation, but I think Scott was trying to get people to follow some rules and people weren't ready to accept that there should be rules," Kolchinsky said.

McCleskey testified before the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Sept. 30 and described how he was pushed out on the heels of the people he'd hired.

"One hour after my departure, it was announced that I would be replaced by an individual from the structured finance department who had no compliance experience and who, to my recollection, had been responsible previously for rating mortgage-backed securities," McCleskey testified.

His replacement, David Teicher, had no compliance background. SEC documents describe him as a former team director for mortgage-backed securities from 2006 to 2008.

McCleskey had raised concerns about the integrity of the ratings process, and Moody's had excluded him from meetings in January 2008 with the Securities and Exchange Commission about the eroding quality of pools of subprime loans that Moody's had blessed with top ratings.

SEC officials, however, didn't bother to seek out McCleskey, even though he was the "designated compliance officer" in company filings with the agency. The SEC maintains that its officials met with Kanef because he was McCleskey's superior.

SEC spokesman Erik Hotmire said that officials met with Kanef because "we ask to interview whomever we determine is appropriate."

Another former Moody's executive, requesting anonymity for fear of legal action by the company, said the agency might've understood what was going wrong better if it had talked to the hands-on compliance officials.

"If they had known he'd (Kanef) come from structured finance, the conflict of having him in that position should have been evident from the start," the former executive said.

Others who worked at Moody's at the time described a culture of willful ignorance in which executives knew how far lending standards had fallen and that they were giving top ratings to risky products.

"I could see it coming at the tail end of 2006, but it was too late. You knew it was just insane," said one former Moody's manager. "They certainly weren't going to do anything to mess with the revenue machine."

Moody's wasn't alone in ignoring the mounting problems. It wasn't even first among competitors. The financial industry newsletter Asset-Backed Alert found that Standard & Poor's participated in 1,962 deals in 2006 involving pools of loans, while Moody's did 1,697. In 2005, Standard & Poor's did 1,754 deals to Moody's 1,120. Fitch was well behind both.

"S&P is deeply disappointed in the performance of its ratings on certain securities tied to the U.S. residential real estate market. As far back as April of 2005, S&P warned investors about increased risks in the residential mortgage market," said Edward Sweeney, a company spokesman. S&P revised criteria and demanded greater buffers against default risks before rating pools of mortgages, he said.

Still, S&P continued to give top ratings to products that analysts from all three ratings agencies knew were of increasingly poor quality. To guard against defaults, they threw more bad loans into the loan pools, telling investors they were reducing risk.

The ratings agencies were under no legal obligation since technically their job is only to give an opinion, protected as free speech, in the form of ratings.

"As an analyst, I wouldn't have known there was a compliance function. There was an attitude of carelessness, or careless ignorance of the law. I think it is a result of the mentality that what we do is just an opinion, and so the law doesn't apply to us," Kolchinsky said.

Experts such as Columbia University's Coffee think that Congress must impose some legal liability on credit rating agencies. Otherwise, they'll remain "just one more conflicted gatekeeper," and the process of pooling loans — essential to the flow of credit — will remain paralyzed and economic recovery restrained.

"If (credit) remains paralyzed, small banks cannot finance the housing demand. They have to take them (investment banks) these mortgages and move them to a global audience," said Coffee. "That can't happen unless the world trusts the gatekeeper."

MWM MWM 15 years ago
MCO #1 on the top to pop list at CNBC...
MWM MWM 15 years ago
Moody's Says Review Sees No Wrongdoing
OCTOBER 1, 2009

A senior Moody's Corp. executive said at a congressional hearing that an outside legal firm investigating claims of misconduct by a former analyst has so far found no evidence of wrongdoing.

But the update on Wednesday from Richard Cantor, chief credit officer of Moody's Investors Service and chief risk officer at the rating firm's parent, raised questions from lawmakers over how the findings of the investigation were reported back to Moody's and regulators.

Moody's Ex-Compliance Head to Testify Mr. Cantor told the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform that Moody's hired law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP to investigate a July complaint submitted internally by Eric Kolchinsky, a managing director who left Moody's in mid-September.

Mr. Kolchinsky alleged in his 14-page complaint that Moody's knowingly gave inflated ratings to some complex securities in January 2009 when the ratings firm, he says, was planning to downgrade assets that would impair the securities.

Kramer Levin interviewed 22 individuals and was given "unfettered access" to Moody's records, Mr. Cantor said, adding the law firm's preliminary findings "are consistent with Moody's internal review -- that the claims of misconduct are unsupported." He went on to say that issues Mr. Kolchinsky raised were "of longstanding and healthy debate" within Moody's.

Bloomberg News

Moody's executive Richard Cantor, right, in Washington on Wednesday with former officers Eric Kolchinsky, left, and Scott McCleskey, center.
A Moody's spokesman said the law firm previously hadn't done work for the ratings firm and Kramer Levin reported its findings directly to Moody's senior management, its board, and regulators. A House oversight committee spokeswoman said Kramer Levin said that its findings will be reported verbally.

At the end of the 3½-hour hearing, committee chairman Edolphus Towns (D, N.Y.) expressed frustration that no written report is planned. He said he wants Moody's to turn over all documents from the investigation. Mr. Cantor said he was "confident they will be able to comply."

Mr. Kolchinsky and another former Moody's officer, Scott McCleskey, testified at the same hearing on Wednesday on what they view are continuing problems with oversight of ratings firms and the challenge of managing conflicts of interest.

Mr. Kolchinsky also said at the hearing that the Securities and Exchange Commission contacted him last week to discuss his allegations.

Mr. McCleskey, who was head of compliance at Moody's between April 2006 and September 2008, said he was "pushed out" by the firm when it replaced him with an individual that was previously responsible for rating residential mortgage-backed securities, the instruments at the heart of the financial crisis.
MWM MWM 15 years ago
Big short squeeze on MCO today!

I grabbed some MHP calls myself...

MWM MWM 15 years ago
Raters Face Fresh Push in House Over Claims
SEPTEMBER 25, 2009

Credit-ratings firms came under pressure as lawmakers and regulators renewed scrutiny of the ratings process.

A congressional committee called on Moody's Corp. to respond to allegations its Moody's Investors Service unit continues to inflate credit ratings. Meanwhile, state insurance regulators gathering in National Harbor, Md., grilled executives of major ratings firms about their botched analysis of mortgage bonds and discussed ways to pare ratings firms' role in assessing risk.

Moody's shares slid 4.4% on Thursday and have tumbled 28% this month amid scrutiny of the firm. Former Moody's analyst Eric Kolchinsky went public earlier this week with allegations that the firm knowingly gave inaccurate ratings to complex securities this year. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday released a letter written by Mr. Kolchinsky detailing his complaints to Moody's officials.

Document: Kolchinsky's memo to Moody's compliance officer A Moody's spokesman said the company "takes very seriously all allegations of impropriety," and a review into Mr. Kolchinsky's most recent claims is in process. The spokesman said Mr. Kolchinsky's previous claims were found by Moody's to be unsupported. "Moody's has strong policies in place to manage potential conflicts of interest," the spokesman said.

Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D., N.Y.) on Thursday postponed a scheduled hearing at which Mr. Kolchinsky was to testify, and said he wants Moody's to respond to the allegations.

Rep. Towns slated the new hearing for next Wednesday. The Moody's spokesman said the company "intends to continue the ongoing dialogue it maintains with legislators, regulators and other market participants."

In the 14-page letter released by the committee, Mr. Kolchinsky said Moody's engaged in conduct he believed was illegal and he urged the firm "to take action" to prevent the company from being held liable for its ratings.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Kolchinsky said the tone of the August memo was out of character for him, but he was frustrated by what he felt was a lack of action within the company.

"The reason it was so harshly worded is that I really wanted them to act and do something, and not sit on their hands," he said, adding that he tried to get his message across for the past two years.

As his primary example, Mr. Kolchinsky said Moody's gave a high rating to complicated debt securities in January 2009, knowing that it was planning to downgrade assets that backed the securities. Within months, the securities were put on review for downgrade. He said he had reviewed internal Moody's memos that showed executives had approved ratings methodology changes in December 2008 that they expected to lead to large-scale ratings downgrades.

He also wrote that he fears that conflicts of interest, which arise because Moody's is paid by debt issuers to rate securities, have become worse in recent months. The group that rates complex securities takes "analytical short-cuts in their quest for revenue," he wrote.

Shares of McGraw-Hill Cos., owner of ratings firm Standard & Poor's, have tumbled 28% this month, falling 6.5% Thursday.

"It's clear to me we can no longer rely solely on the ratings agencies," Sean Dilweg, Wisconsin's insurance commissioner, said following the hearing of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on Thursday in Maryland.

At the hearing, executives from Moody's, S&P and Fitch Ratings, which is owned by Fimalac SA of France, described changes they have made to improve their analytical processes, corporate governance and compliance.

"Everyone who testified knows that changes have to be made. It's just a question of what changes and to what extent," said James Wrynn, New York's insurance superintendent.

Write to Serena Ng at and Leslie Scism at
MWM MWM 15 years ago
Moody's getting hit hard, credit rating agencies might have to pay the piper...

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