Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The SEC approved a series of measures to increase transparency and accountability at credit rating agencies. The new measures impose additional requirements on credit rating agencies, whose ratings of residential mortgage-backed securities backed by subprime mortgage loans and of collateralized debt obligations linked to subprime loans contributed to the recent turmoil in the credit markets. The SEC also proposed additional measures related to transparency and competition concerning credit rating agencies. This is the second set of credit rating agency reforms since the SEC received its new regulatory authority from Congress to register and oversee credit rating agencies. The initial rules were implemented by the Commission under the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act in June 2007. The regulatory program established through the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act allows the SEC to promulgate rules regarding public disclosure, recordkeeping and financial reporting, and substantive requirements to ensure that credit rating agencies conduct their activities with integrity and impartiality.