by Matthew Patane
Missouri joined a multi-state suit Tuesday, Feb. 5, against Standard & Poor’s that claims the rating agency misled and defrauded investors before the nation’s financial crisis.
The complaint alleges that S&P was “influenced by its desire to earn lucrative fees from its investment bank clients, (and) knowingly assigned inflated credit ratings to toxic assets packaged and sold by the Wall Street investment banks.”
Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster and Secretary of State Jason Kander are joining 14 other states and the District of Columbia in seeking legal action against S&P. The U.S. Department of Justice also has filed a suit against the rating agency on similar charges.
“The consequences of S&P’s irresponsible decisions can be felt far beyond Wall Street,” Kander said in a statement. “Missourians trusted S&P’s supposedly independent investment analysis, but it appears that trust was betrayed to protect S&P’s profits.”
According to the statement, a member of Kander’s staff will be appointed as a “special assistant attorney general” in the suit, which was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.