For the first time, the ratings industry is being held accountable for its role in the financial crisis. The Justice Department has charged Standard and Poor's with fraud. America's largest credit ratings agency earned record profits by making complex bundles of home mortgages look safer than they actually were, paving the way for the financial crisis. That's according to the Justice Department, which is accusing Standard and Poor's of knowing the ratings were wrong — and committing fraud. Felix Salmon is a finance blogger for Reuters.