Report: Government probe of Standard and Poor’s

WASHINGTON (AP) – Aug. 18, 2011 – The Justice Department is investigating whether the Standard & Poor’s credit ratings agency improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The investigation began before Standard & Poor’s cut the United States’ AAA credit rating this month, but it’s likely to add to the political firestorm created by the downgrade, the newspaper said. Some government officials have since questioned the agency’s secretive process, its credibility and the competence of its analysts, claiming to have found an error in its debt calculations.

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