San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Comment analyzes the market for ratings of both financial securities and insurance companies, and finds significant problems with rating agencies, such as lethargy in changing ratings, political influence, unsolicited ratings, and inaccurate ratings. To ensure that the federal securities laws continue to protect investors, this Comment recommends limited oversight of rating agencies. It proposes that Congress enact legislation granting the Securities and Exchange Commission explicit authority to mandate that all nationally recognized statistical rating organizations register with the SEC, and to establish minimum standards for their designation. Finally, the Comment examines First Amendment concerns associated with the regulation of rating agencies, and concludes that proposed legislation set forth in this paper would not violate the First Amendment.