I thought it was an ethical violation to threaten criminal action to bring about a civil settlement. During settlement negotiations, the Justice Department held out the threat of a criminal case against S.&P., the people said.
UPDATE: Now this is interesting. The part about criminal threats is now missing from the NY Times story, though the phrase still shows up in a search. I wonder why it was removed? [italics added]
This in reporting appearance of punishment by feds of S&P, in wake of its downgrading U.S. rating. Regarding which Roger Kimball:
We are living with the most fiscally incontinent administration in U.S., perhaps in world, history. Both S&P and Moodys took note of this incontinence and broadcast the news by downgrading U.S. debt in 2011. The result? A $1 billion law suit against S&P. Merely post hoc? Or do you discern a teensy bit of propter hoc there as well? I do.
Post hoc meaning after something, propter hoc because of it. Mere succession (coincidence) or result?