Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let us rescue Caveat Emptor!

The implied warranty of fitness given to us by the credit rating agencies has not served us well, especially when the issuers of the warranties now inform us that they give us their opinions under the protection of the First Amendment, and that they cannot therefore be held responsible for their opinions.

It is obviously high time to rescue the Caveat Emptor principles in financial regulations, though in fact it seems that the market has been doing so on its own lately.

Let us never forget that the current crisis did not result from the market investing in badly awarded mortgage loans to what is known as the subprime sector but from investing securities collateralized with such mortgages and that received a prime rating.