Who Pays the Rating Agencies?

BY Business Desk  April 20, 2009 at 10:36 AM EST

AAA; Jeremy Brooks via Flickr

Question: Who pays the rating agencies, like Moody’s? What is the source of their income?

Paul Solman: That’s been the scandal. They’re paid by the issuers of the bonds and stocks they rate. They thus have a huge incentive not to rate too harshly, lest the client go to the “easier” agency. It’s the same problem auditors have.