Brian Clarkson Vague About His Time As Moody’s President

August 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Moodys 

The New York Times reported on the private testimony Brian Clarkson gave to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) in May 2010. Mr. Clarkson was president of Moody’s Investors Service until his retirement in 2008. His FCIC testimony was recently made public.

Commissioners asked Mr. Clarkson about former Moody’s analysts who testified during congressional hearings that executives bullied them into assigning triple-A ratings. Analysts complained that those who did not cooperate were either terminated or suspended.

Mr. Clarkson said that he did remember complaints about how some of Moody’s analysts were “not playing ball with Wall Street.” However, Mr. Clarkson could not “recall specific bankers” who complained or personnel changes that resulted from the complaints. He said that he personally did not fire anyone, and could not recall any discussions about firing employees.

When Mr. Clarkson was asked if Moody’s extended discounts to banks that sought ratings, The New York Times reports that he replied, “I don’t know.” When asked about Moody’s changing the prices that it charged Wall Street in 2001, Mr. Clarkson said, “I don’t recall specific fee structures.”

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