I actually think it would be a good thing for rating agencies if they suffered some consequences for bad opinions.
One of the problems is, when you have an institution who is allowed to write opinions that have enormous market impact, but they have no economic – they have an exemption for free speech, it can create some problems. Rating agencies, in my view, during the credit crisis acted effectively as underwriters. Deals could not get done without their imprimatur.
~Bill Ackman, CEO, Pershing Square Capital, Bloomberg News, May 13th, 2010