1. 2/10/13 NY TIMES/ Gretchen Morgenson’s column/ On the waiting list at the debt rating club! As S&P. awaits a civil trial for rating securities they allegedly knew to be fraudulent , at least 10 other boutique rating agencies have not achieved SEC certification. One firm, R&R Consulting has applied for rating certification, though they weren’t denied a license, it has’t been granted either. According to Gretchen, the founders have exemplary credentials and they are well respected globally. It appears, though denied, the folks responsible for granting this firm’s accreditation , come from S&P and other rating agencies responsible for the 2007 Financial Collapse, and they are maintaining the status quo. Hence, no new faces and ideas in the rating agency pool! Where’s our choice?
2. Bill Moyers, PBS 6:00PM The conversation turns to media communication, where the consumer is being short changed. Captive Audiance by Susan Crawford provides a detailed account of our limited access to ” real information” and varied media content and universal access to the Internet. Why is this undesirable? To be educated, to be connected to each other, we need to be connected independent of the content provided by the media moguls. We have a choice, sensible oversight would provide more competition, more information at competitive pricing. All these issues are part of the same problem, a limited marketplace placing people at a disadvantage. We have a choice.
3. THE FINANCIAL TIMES2/10/13. A must read article by John Gapper: Money, Money everywhere- except in the real economy! All of this is reminiscent of the period before the crash, when one PE boss spoke of ” getting liquidity at the corner store”. What’s happening, we’re creating deals between existing, known companies, creating wealth for the few, while the ” real economy” produces very little. We have a choice, but we shouldn’t wait too long to invest in entrepreneurs.
4. LOL . 60 minutes reports on the Government’s audit of the three credit rating agencies: Esperian, Trans Union and Equifax . They have determined the following: Disputes with these agencies are pointless. They have a 20% error rate and no accountability. According to the Ohio AG, the consumer rating agencies are not in compliance with the Law. Lives have been destroyed by these agencies and so far, the consumer is powerless. What is our choice?