I was writing about the new SEC rules on rating agencies and found a good ditty from the past.

In the most famous instance of rating agency self-reproach, documented in a Securities and Exchange Commission report issued in July 2008, a worker in S&P’s structured products division bemoaned the firm’s standards in an instant message exchange with another employee.

“We rate every deal. It could be structured by cows and we would rate it,” the employee wrote.

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