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May 13, 2013

Rating Firms Steer Clear of an Overhaul

Rating firms’ controversial business model looks set to escape wholesale changes as regulators struggle to agree on an alternative.

Lawmakers told the Securities and Exchange Commission nearly three years ago to shake up the bond-rating industry’s “issuer pays” business arrangement, where clients pay firms such as Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Moody’s Investors Service for their letter grades.

Very little has changed. An SEC report that was widely expected to announce regulatory changes arrived six months late—and proposed more discussion rather than an overhaul.

At an all-day meeting Tuesday, the agency is seeking advice from 26 experts, including S&P President Douglas Peterson and Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Jules Kroll. It isn’t clear what the SEC will do after that.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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