New rules for ratings agencies?

European regulators are seeking to introduce new rules for ratings agencies.

Ratings would be suspended for countries undergoing bailouts. (But what counts as a ‘bailout’, and how would the EU prevents ratings being applied by entities outside the EU?)

The issuers of financial products would be forced to change the ratings agency they use, possibly as often as yearly. (This would encourage the growth of more smaller agencies, a move which would be resisted by established industry leaders.)

The intentions are stated as to open up competition and avoid conflicts of interest. And in the case of countries undergoing bailout, stability while changes are negotiated.

Implementation and enforcement is likely to encounter difficulties. And the underlying values in conflict here are stability and truth vs profit and an easy life.

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