It's easy to mistake a motive for evidence. The error was
made in the debate about ratings agencies. The big question was
whether they understood the structured products they rated, and
therefore whether they should change the way they do so in the
future. But much of the debate revolved around advisory work
whether there were conflicts of interest in advising
companies on how to improve their rating.
Conflicts of interest capture attention. They have the whiff
of corruption. So even though the debate over advisory services
was many years old,...