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Oct 02

Book Pitch! "Inside Moody's and the Culture of Deception"

Posted by kcates in Scott McCleskeyratings agenciesMoody'sKarl CatesEric Kolchinksycompliance


Scott McCleskey can be forgiven if when he looks in the mirror in the morning he sees Scott McClellan, the former White House spokesman who came out with that poison-pen chronicle after the Bush people finally closed shop and left everything in shambles.

A used copy of McClellan’s kiss-and-tell, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception,” can be had today for as little as $3.89 on (new copies are $21.24, roughly 24 percent off the cover price, although I thought I saw one on my corner bookstore’s “great values” table the other day for $9.99.)  

Maybe similar riches await McCleskey:  “What Happened: Inside Moody’s Corp. and Wall Street’s Culture of Deception.”

You have to admit that in addition to the similar Scottish surnames, the two Scotts have weird similarities. McClellan writes about how he was kept in the dark about stuff like Iraq and WMDs and W’s purported cocaine past and so on and so forth.  This week before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Reforms, Chairman Edolphus Towns talked about how Moody’s had given McClesky, a former Moody’s compliance executive testifying before the committee, the “old mushroom treatment.”

 “Keeping him in the dark and burying him in fertilizer.”

“Fertilizer” being the congressional term for you-know-what.

Which is what also happened to McClellan, only he got piled on afterwards, too, as Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer and company questioned (on TV!) Scott’s character, patriotism, I.Q. and parentage.

McCleskey is probably expecting the same.  So, too, is Eric Kolchinsky, the other former Moody’s executive who came forth – like McCleskey – to say that Moody’s was negligent, at the very least, in issuing all those upbeat credit ratings for clients on what turned out to be subprime-tranche junk (John Goff has the story here ).

Maybe McClellan takes satisfaction in knowing that his former botch-happy employers are out of power at long last.  McCleskey, on the other hand, can only look back at an outfit that’s as influential as ever.


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