The U.S. vs. Standard & Poor's

Justice Dept. Sues S&P Over Ratings


The U.S. Justice Department has sued McGraw-Hill Cos. and its S&P unit, accusing it of deliberately understating the risk of bonds backed by mortgages made to the riskiest borrowers to win business from Wall Street banks. The suit raises pressure to accelerate competition in the ratings industry -- while the government itself has adopted rules that left the business dominated by the same companies whose flawed grades sparked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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