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Archive: September 2009

September 15, 2009

What Would You Pay More For?

After President Obama said he'd consider taxing soda to encourage healthier lifestyles, we felt inspired to ask: What items would you pay higher taxes on to ensure health care for all?

Your answers so far include cigarettes, junk food, fast food, beer, tobacco, sporting events, companies who "inhumanely raise animals for meat," firearms, processed foods, golf clubs, botox, personal jets and more.

Me? I'd heavily tax people who don't hold the door open, drivers that cut me off on the turnpike, and folks who talk during movies...but now we're starting to stray from the idea of sacrifice into the idea of punishment. And we know the IRS does not exist to punish people, right? Right?

September 30, 2009

Corruption Continuing at Credit Rating Firms?

money.jpgWhen the economy began to melt down last year, we followed the money and investigated the role credit rating agencies played in the financial collapse. Greed, it seemed, led some agencies to make overly-optimistic ratings decisions, resulting in billions of dollars in losses to investors big and small.

Our reporting led us to Frank Raiter, a former managing director at Standard & Poor's, who revealed how he was pressured to compromise standards in a push for profits. He testified before Congress about what he witnessed first hand.

Now, after congressional hearings, regulatory scrutiny, and reform at credit rating agencies, Eric Kolchinsky, a former analyst who recently resigned from Moody's Corp., has come forward with a disturbing new allegation. Kolchinsky says the practice continues; credit ratings are still knowingly being inflated.

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