Ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner must comply with Standard & Poor’s demand that he provide documents related to its claim the U.S. sued the company in retaliation for downgrading government debt.
Harold W. McGraw III, chairman of S&P parent McGraw Hill Financial Inc. (MHFI), said in a court statement that Geithner called him days after S&P downgraded the U.S. debt in August 2011 and told him that the company would be held accountable for it. McGraw said Geithner told him there would be a “response” for the downgrade, which the government said was based on an error.
Geithner is the highest former government official S&P has pursued for information to support its allegations. S&P, the only credit rating company sued by the Justice Department for allegedly giving fraudulent ratings to mortgage-backed securities, has said it was singled out because of the downgrade.