NEW YORK Feb 5 Floyd Abrams, the lawyer
defending rating agency Standard & Poor's against a lawsuit from
the U.S. government, said on Tuesday that the company's ratings
were "identical" to those of other rating agencies.
"The predictions about the future were identical to other
rating agencies," Abrams told CNBC regarding the agency's
ratings on U.S. collateralized debt obligations, which are the
focus of the Justice Department's lawsuit against the agency and
its parent, The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
Abrams said he did not know if the lawsuit was political
payback for the rating agency's downgrade of the U.S. credit
rating in August 2011, but that scrutiny intensified after the
"I don't think anyone knows," Abrams said, but added that
the "intensity of this investigation significantly increased"
after the credit downgrade.