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What did rating agencies know about AIG?


It’s time to start asking the big credit rating agencies just when they realized that American International Group might pose a systemic risk to the global financial system.

And what, if anything, did the rating agencies do to warn financial regulators of the global crisis that might ensue, if AIG’s debt ratings were suddenly slashed.

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the role the credit agencies played in the build-up to the financial crisis by slapping triple A ratings on complex securities built from mortgages to subprime borrowers.

But there’s not been enough scrutiny into the behind-the-scenes work the credit rating agencies did last summer as Lehman Brothers lurched toward bankruptcy and AIG’s cash crunch grew increasingly grave.