Dan Gillmor originally shared this post:
Wow. Henry Blodget has discovered and pulled out incredible stuff from a document filed with the SEC by a former senior employee at Moody’s, one of the big-3 securities ratings agencies.
Moody’s is partly owned by a company in which I’ve owned stock for many years: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett has consistently defended Moody’s (and the sleazy Goldman Sachs, another big BRK investment) with feel-good non-answers to serious questions. I’m increasingly disenchanted with Buffett, and that’s one of the main reasons why.
A former senior analyst at Moody’s has gone public with his story of how one of the country’s most important rating agencies is corrupted to the core.
The analyst, William J. Harrington, worked for Moody’s for 11 years, from 1999 until his resignation last year.
From 2006 to 2010, Harrington was a Senior Vice President in the derivative products group, which was responsible for producing many of the disastrous ratings Moody’s issued during the housing bubble.
Harrington has made his story public in the form of a 78-page “comment” to the SEC’s proposed rules about rating agency reform, which he submitted to the agency on August 8th. The comment is a scathing indictment of Moody’s processes, conflicts of interests, and management, and it will likely make Harrington a star witness at any future litigation or hearings on this topic.