[FoRK] Fwd: Outrageous Defense Strategies: From Bad Lying to E-Mail Overload AKA "mere puffery"

Joseph S. Barrera III joe at barrera.org
Thu Jul 25 04:26:21 PDT 2013

S&P.... those fuckshits.

P.S. Finally reading The Big Short

P.S. $5 billion isn't nearly enough


"Certainly the rating agency S&P (MHFI) believes in Keker’s magic. He’s 
defending New York-based S&P against a headline-making $5 billion fraud 
suit filed by the Justice Department. In that case, Keker has floated 
another seemingly outrageous defense. The government accuses S&P of 
helping trigger the 2008 financial crisis by rubber-stamping as “AAA” 
esoteric subprime-related securities that went up in flames. As I noted 
in an earlierpost, one of Keker’s arguments is that his client “cannot 
be held liable for its prolific claims of integrity and analytic skill 
because those boasts were the sort of baloney that investors and the 
wider public never take seriously in the first place.”

"This month a federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., rejected S&P’s “mere 
puffery” defense (yes, that’s really what the lawyers call it) while 
declining to dismiss the government suit before trial. “If no investor 
believed in S&P’s objectivity,” U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote, 
‘‘is S&P asserting that, as a matter of law, the company’s credit 
ratings service added absolutely zero material value as a predictor of 
creditworthiness?” Good question.

"S&P didn’t fold, though, and says it’s ready to go to a jury. “The 
court’s decision was not on the merits,” Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman 
for S&P said in a prepared statement. “At this preliminary stage, [Judge 
Carter was obliged] to accept as true all the factual allegations in the 
complaint.” S&P, she added, welcomes “the opportunity to demonstrate the 
lack of merit to the Department of Justice’s complaint.”"

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     Outrageous Defense Strategies: From Bad Lying to E-Mail 
Date:     Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:27:28 EDT
From:     <Businessweek.com -- Most Popular>

What do the "pathetic liar," "just puffery," and "overflowing in-box" 
defenses have in common?

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