Collateralized debt obligations ruined financial market

Complicated portfolios made up of subprime mortgages, known as collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, received the stamp of approval from rating agencies, but turned out to be a contagion that wreaked havoc on the global economy.

Lawmakers are now asserting that credit rating agencies (CRAs) like Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services failed to expose the lurking dangers.

“Rating agencies continue to create an even bigger monster – the CDO Market,” wrote one S&P employee in an internal e-mail in December of 2006. “Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards falters.”