The Justice Department has started investigating Moody’s Investors Service, the bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Timothy W. Martin.
This comes as the DOJ wraps up a two-year lawsuit against ratings agency Standard & Poor’s for misleading investors on residential mortgage ratings prior to the 2008 financial crisis. S&P is expected to make a $US1.37 billion settlement.
Now, Justice Department officials have begun meeting with former Moody’s executives to discuss that firm’s standards leading up to the crisis.
Neither of the two ratings firms — the two largest in the world — have yet faced legal penalties for their work leading up to the financial crisis. But critics say they used poor models and methodologies to rate home mortgage bonds, and misled investors on which bonds would make safe investments.