Warren Buffett expands before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission on the value of his investment in Moody's: "The long term value was...the duopoly....incredible pricing power." Commissioner Douglas Holtz-Eakin bores in: "What is the source of the pricing power?" Mr. Buffett: "The source of the pricing power?....It's required. It's like an SEC filing fee....Often it's by statute."
Republicans have been worked up about the federal government's requirement on individuals to buy health insurance under ObamaCare. But this is a mandate, too -- if you want to issue securities, you pretty much have to pay Warren Buffett for a rating.