Credit Ratings Agencies Suffer Blow To MBS Defense

Law360, New York (November 29, 2011, 8:47 PM EST) -- Long-shielded from claims over mortgage-backed security failures, credit ratings agencies may have lost one of their best defenses earlier this month, when a federal judge ruled that not all credit ratings are protected under the First Amendment, experts say.

U.S. District Judge James Browning said private ratings released only to a small group of investors were not protected free speech, striking a blow to a defense that Moody's Investors Service Inc., Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Fimalac SA's Fitch Ratings have repeatedly used to...
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