How corruption inside the ratings agencies played a critical role in the financial crisis:

“In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked.

“‘Lord help our fucking scam . . . this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at,’ writes one Standard & Poor’s executive. ‘As you know, I had difficulties explaining “HOW” we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it,’ confesses a high-ranking S&P analyst. ‘If we are just going to make it up in order to rate deals, then quants [quantitative analysts] are of precious little value,’ complains another senior S&P man. ‘Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card[s] falters,’ ruminates one more.”