This week civil charges are expected to be filed by the Department of Justice and New York state prosecutors against Standard and Poor's, the rating service. Its allegedly rosy ratings for mortgaged backed securities understated the severity of the growing housing crash and may have actually contributed to the financial crisis.
The charges also accuse the rating service of having a financial interest in maintaining exaggerated ratings due to their other dealings with financial institutions.
Michael de la Merced is a reporter for our partner, The New York Times. He writes for the Dealbook blog. Ron Grassi is a retired lawyer who is suing three of the major ratings agencies. He's waiting for an appeals hearing date in the 9th circuit court in San Francisco.