Missouri will receive a substantial share of $1.38 billion Standard & Poor's is paying to settle U.S. allegations that it knowingly inflated its ratings of risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the financial crisis.
Standard & Poor’s isn’t entitled to the Justice Department’s communications with the White House to bolster its defense that a U.S. fraud lawsuit was retaliation for S&P’s downgrade of the nation’s debt, the government said.
The U.S. is withholding documents that might show the government sued Standard & Poor’s in retaliation for downgrading the country’s debt, the ratings company said, asking a court to compel the records’ production.
McGraw Hill Financial Inc.’s Standard & Poor’s unit may be allowed to seek information from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner related to what the company said was a “threatening” call he made to Harold W. McGraw III after S&P’s downgrade of U.S. debt in 2011.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked a judge to quash a subpoena by McGraw Hill Financial Inc. and its Standard & Poor’s unit seeking information tied to their claim that the U.S. sued the companies in retaliation for a downgrade of government debt.
The government seeks as much as $5 billion in civil penalties for losses to federally insured banks and credit unions that relied on the S&P’s claims.
McGraw Hill Financial Inc.’s Standard & Poor’s said it would be unfair to let the U.S. Justice Department put more than 150 selected securities before a jury to argue the firm’s ratings were the result of fraud.
McGraw Hill Financial Inc.’s Standard & Poor’s unit said the U.S. government has broadened the securities covered in its fraud lawsuit against the ratings company so that the case would be unmanageable at trial.
Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and its parent, McGraw Hill Financial Inc., were accused in a lawsuit by New Jersey of failing to give objective ratings to mortgage-backed securities.
S&P and its parent company, McGraw Hill Financial Inc., were sued by the U.S. and a group of states, including Missouri, over ratings on mortgage-backed securities during the housing boom.
Standard & Poor’s is trying to show it was unfairly singled out in a $5 billion fraud lawsuit 18 months after it downgraded U.S. sovereign debt.
Missouri is one of 14 states which filed a lawsuit accusing McGraw Hill Financial Inc. and its Standard & Poor's unit of inflating mortgage-backed securities ratings.
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