One gets the distinct impression that the ratings agencies are trying to compensate for all those years of handing out AAA ratings like candy.
Now they’re making comments about a banking crisis going on much longer than any mainstream pundits are saying:
Reuters: A day after saying big U.S. banks probably needed to raise only one-fourth the capital demanded by the government, Standard & Poor’s said the nation’s banking crisis has “merely entered a new phase” and might not end before 2013.
The credit rating agency said the industry is being propped up by hundreds of billions of dollars of government support, especially for lenders considered too important to the financial system to fail.
While efforts to spur lending, take bad assets off banks’ balance sheets, and restart the market for packaging and selling securities may help the sector, S&P said banks will have a tough time surviving absent a bigger capital cushion than regulators require. Read the whole thing >