One former Standard & Poor’s analyst who told his bosses that they shouldn’t weaken their standards to win more business finds himself at the heart of the U.S. Justice Department’s $5bn case against the ratings firm.
Bloomberg reports that that man, dubbed 'Executive H' in the government’s lawsuit, is Frank Raiter, a former managing director for residential mortgage-backed securities at S&P, the world’s biggest debt-ratings provider. Raiter, 65, now lives on a rural Virginia farm.
S&P supervisors ignored Raiter when he said they should implement a model that would have made banks include more protection in the bonds that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, according to the lawsuit filed February 4th in federal court in Los Angeles.
'I’m not a whistle-blower', Raiter said Wednesday in a phone interview. 'Ultimately, I just took early retirement because I couldn’t go along with their programs'.
Raiter said he hadn’t heard from the Justice Department since it contacted him in 2010 and that he hopes he won’t have to travel to California to testify. The former Marine and community banker retired from S&P, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., in March 2005 after clashing with his bosses, Bloomberg reported in 2008.
The lawsuit wiped out $3.82bn of McGraw-Hill’s market value this week as shares of the New York-based company tumbled 24% percent through Wednesday.
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image: © Steven Depolo