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Ratings Agencies Largely Escape Regulatory Overhaul

The New York Times takes a look at one part of the financial industry that's escaping the administration's proposed regulatory overhaul largely unscathed: the ratings agencies. The agencies, particularly Moody's and Standard & Poor's, have long been considered central to the crisis. While the companies gave top ratings to the banks' mortgage-backed securities (the toxic assets of today), they earned large profits from those same banks. Those ratings turned out to be wildly wrong, but the companies kept the profits.

The administration's new plan essentially wags its finger at the industry while keeping the pay structure in place, the Times reports. 

Other links this morning:
Born in a Previous Crisis, OTS Faces Extinction (WaPo)
Obama Plan Gets Wary Reception From Banks, Lawmakers (Bloomberg)
Obama Defends Financial Overhaul (WaPo)
Only a Hint of Roosevelt in Financial Overhaul (NYT)
Public Wary of Deficit, Economic Intervention (WSJ)
Dispute Grows over TARP Chief's Powers (LAT)
Report: Lax Oversight Allowed Downey Savings' Loan Binge (LAT)

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