Professor Frank Partnoy on Newshour with Jim Lehrer

San Diego March 3, 2009 - University of San Diego School of Law Professor Frank Partnoy's expertise was tapped by PBS's The Newhour with Jim Lehrer on Monday, March 2.

In the interview Partnoy describes how insurance giant AIG abandoned its traditional insurance business in favor of a second business of derivatives, credit default swaps.

Partnoy states the credit default swaps business carried the seeds of disaster that we're seeing now and have seen in recent months. The professor and director of USD's Center for Corporate and Securities Law places much of the blame for the financial crisis on credit rating agencies such as Moody and Standard and Poor, both of which provided AAA ratings for credit default swaps that clearly did not deserve the highest investment rating.

Partnoy goes on to warn that the financial sector still relies too heavily upon credit rating agencies when making investment decisions.

Watch the interview on

About Frank Partnoy

Professor Frank Partnoy is the director of USD School of Law's new Center for Corporate and Securities Law. He teaches and writes in the areas of corporate law, corporate finance and financial market regulation. Partnoy's other publications include The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals (PublicAffairs, 2009); Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets (Henry Holt, 2003), and FIASCO: Blood In The Water On Wall Street (W.W. Norton, 1997) as well as more than 20 articles on various topics related to financial market regulation. Before joining the USD faculty in 1997, Partnoy worked as an investment banker at CS First Boston and Morgan Stanley in New York, and as an attorney at Covington and Burling in Washington, D.C. He was co-recipient of the 1999 Thorsnes Prize for Excellence in Teaching and was the 2004 Herzog Endowed Scholar.

About USD School of Law

The University of San Diego School of Law is a center of academic excellence focused on preparing its students for legal practice in the new century. One of the most selective law schools in the country, the School of Law’s nationally recognized faculty create a demanding, yet welcoming environment that emphasizes individualized education. USD law school graduates go on to practice law throughout the country and abroad, forming an influential network of alumni. The USD School of Law is one of only 81 law schools in the country to have a chapter of The Order of the Coif, the most distinguished rank of American law schools. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


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