jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com / By Jesse / February 5, 2013
No, I do not predict that there will be no criminal indictments and convictions to follow the suit, or even serious personal penalties from the civil action beyond something that is tax deductible as a cost of doing business. That is like predicting that a heavy rain will make puddles.
I predict that the primary defense that will be offered by S&P will be based on ‘the credibility trap’ itself.
The usual defense in cases like this is the First Amendment, that S&P was merely voicing an opinion. In this particular case, after having combed through over 20 million documents, the Department of Justice will attempt to prove that S&P was not merely voicing an opinion, but lying for gain, which is not ‘protected speech.’
And most of them obviously cannot use the CEO defense of non-involvement and general ignorance of the entire situation, since they were being paid to write professionally informed judgements based on a factual due diligence. It would be like a surgeon arguing against malpractice because he was watching porn while performing surgery, and was so distracted he did not really notice what he was doing and was therefore merely a hapless bystander. Don’t laugh. It seems to be working for MF Global, and several national governments.