If this is true expect even more scrutiny and lawsuits will follow...lawsuits in the billions, which would BK these raters many many times over. These raters do not just rates some equity...they rate AAA/other paper that trade in billions and trillions of dollars...bought by many very wealthy, smart and RISK adverse individuals...if they were scammed for billions they will spend millions to recoup. the paper market dwarfs the stock market by many factors as did the losses from the rated "AAA" that was really worse then junk.
Credibility after a point will not matter..all it takes is one lawsuit loss in the numbers that will probably come up with a loss and these are all toast...credible zeros
Incompetence for the raters? These are very smart folks, they read review everything...it their job, and many are very good at it... They may say it was just an opinion or the work of a few incompetents, but in IMO they just got very arrogant and greedy....they realized they make the rules so they did not have have to follow any but their own..."opinions" mandated by congress and insurers sold for and to the highest bidder, whether accurate or not....it all works until the house of card falls and then the public wants their pound of flesh...and if the current politicians do not find some worthy fodder for the wolves they can expect to be looking for new jobs soon.