Posted Jan 26, 2012 02:26 pm CST
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan claims in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday that Standard & Poor’s gave high ratings to mortgage-backed securities while ignoring the risks of the investments.
The suit refers to employee emails showing a low opinion of the rating system. One employee says in an instant message that investments “could be structured by cows and we would rate it.”
“The mortgage-backed securities that helped our market soar—and ultimately crash—could not have been purchased by most investors without S&P’s seal of approval,” Madigan said in a statement.
An S&P spokesman said the suit is without merit.
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