WASHINGTON (AP) -- The companies which said that securities backed by subprime mortgage loans were as good as gold are getting a grilling on Capitol Hill.
A House oversight panel is taking companies like Standard & Poor's and Moody's to task for giving the exotic financial products Triple-A ratings despite lots of warnings signs and eroding home prices.
The securities are a prime factor in the current financial crisis.
The panel on Wednesday heard former ratings agency executives say there's an inherent conflict of interest in the industry because they're paid by bond issuers instead of investors who trust their ratings to make smart investments.
Internal company documents revealed by the panel show that credit rating agency executives were aware that the ratings were inflated.