Credit-rating companies faulted for their role in creating the financial crisis could rake in more than $1 billion in Ben Bernanke’s new plan to prop up the financial system, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Fed is planning $7 billion worth of bond deals, and they'll need the approval of two of the three giant credit rating firms—Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch.
Ratings firms generally charge $40,000 to $120,000 for every $100 million in structured-finance securities they assess, which will mean a tidy profit. The inaccuracy of their mortgage-securities ratings has earned them widespread criticism, though Bernanke says he's "comfortable" they can do the job. If they’re wrong this time, the Journal notes, losses could wind up in the hands of the Fed and taxpayers.