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News Link • Economy - International

Rating Agency Worker: 'I Am Genuinely Frightened'

•, Joris Luyendijk
 The man I am meeting is British, in his early 40s, a fast talker and very friendly, the sort of person to apologise profusely when arriving four minutes late. He orders an orange juice.

"Every time I read about a new financial product, I think: 'Uh-oh.' Every new product is described in those same warm, fuzzy phrases: how great they are and how safe. Well, that's how credit default swaps and asset-backed securities were explained when banks were introducing these.

"I still get so angry when I think about it. Taking a job at a rating agency seemed a perfect match: drawing a good salary while providing a service of genuine value for society. We need ratings to work out how safe a company or an investment bond is, what the risk of default might be. If you can't trust it, you shouldn't do business with it – it's that simple.

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