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MBS, or mortgage-backed securities, rating agencies under renewed squeeze
Good information about some of the turmoil currently happening in the lending arena, and possibly more to come:
The unprecedented real estate bubble the nation just experienced was partly created by the credit rating shops that were tasked to value mortgage-backed securities, or MBS. The three large agencies doing that are Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's. The ratings the three arrived at were then attached to MBS issued by Wall Street firms and subsequently offered to investors who were seeking to invest money based on their own risk preferences. Obviously what the large investors world over were seeing made them confident that MBS were sound and worth acquiring, so they bought boatloads of them, stoking the fire under the housing bubble even more.
Las Vegas mortgage recipients, like those in the other seriously mauled areas of Arizona, California and Florida, were caught up in this frenzy and are now paying dearly for it.
Ever since the home loan and real estate market implosion there has been talk about how these ratings actually were sugar-coated and inaccurate, giving investors false impressions on their true value. Naturally the three agencies under scrutiny are adamantly defending their business ... more

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