Yeah, that'll solve everything

What happens when one of the major bond rating agencies gets in hot water for rating packages of subprime mortgages as AAA paper in exchange for payments from the people issuing said paper?

Why, change the rating system of course:

moved on on Monday to respond to its critics by proposing a new rating
system for complex debt securities that would rely on numbers rather
than letters.

And get this: The biggest criticism is not that such a move is tantamount to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, not that it does nothing to address a lack of transparency, not that it will continue to enable the mark-to-make believe practices that got the credit markets into such a mess in the first place, but rather that it’s — confusing:

“Creating different ratings for products undermines what a rating is
supposed to be and confuses the investor base,” said Ron D’Vari, head
of structured finance CDO products and portfolio management at
BlackRock. “Ratings should be standardised and triple-A should be the
same across asset classes”…

The rating agency said options for consideration include introducing “a completely new rating scale for structured securities”.

would involve choosing a ranking from one to 21, rather than assigning
the 21 letters that span the gamut of Aaa to C. Moody’s said this would
distinguish a structured security, such as a CDO, from a corporate or
government bond.

“Many of the ratings-based portfolio governance
schemes currently in use by market participants assume that structured
and non-structured securities are rated using the same long-term rating
scale,” said Moody’s.


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