United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 24, 2020

§ 78o–9.
Study and rulemaking on assigned credit ratings
(a)
Definition

In this section, the term “structured finance product” means an asset-backed security, as defined in section 3(a)(77) 1

1
 See References in Text note below.
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(79)], as added by section 941,1 and any structured product based on an asset-backed security, as determined by the Commission, by rule.

(b)
Study
The Commission shall carry out a study of—
(1)
the credit rating process for structured finance products and the conflicts of interest associated with the issuer-pay and the subscriber-pay models;
(2)
the feasibility of establishing a system in which a public or private utility or a self-regulatory organization assigns nationally recognized statistical rating organizations to determine the credit ratings of structured finance products, including—
(A)
an assessment of potential mechanisms for determining fees for the nationally recognized statistical rating organizations;
(B)
appropriate methods for paying fees to the nationally recognized statistical rating organizations;
(C)
the extent to which the creation of such a system would be viewed as the creation of moral hazard by the Federal Government; and
(D)
any constitutional or other issues concerning the establishment of such a system;
(3)
the range of metrics that could be used to determine the accuracy of credit ratings; and
(4)
alternative means for compensating nationally recognized statistical rating organizations that would create incentives for accurate credit ratings.
(c)
Report and recommendation
Not later than 24 months after July 21, 2010, the Commission shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report that contains—
(1)
the findings of the study required under subsection (b); and
(2)
any recommendations for regulatory or statutory changes that the Commission determines should be made to implement the findings of the study required under subsection (b).
(d)
Rulemaking
(1)
Rulemaking

After submission of the report under subsection (c), the Commission shall, by rule, as the Commission determines is necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors, establish a system for the assignment of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations to determine the initial credit ratings of structured finance products, in a manner that prevents the issuer, sponsor, or underwriter of the structured finance product from selecting the nationally recognized statistical rating organization that will determine the initial credit ratings and monitor such credit ratings. In issuing any rule under this paragraph, the Commission shall give thorough consideration to the provisions of section 15E(w) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as that provision would have been added by section 939D of H.R. 4173 (111th Congress), as passed by the Senate on May 20, 2010, and shall implement the system described in such section 939D unless the Commission determines that an alternative system would better serve the public interest and the protection of investors.

(2)
Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection may be construed to limit or suspend any other rulemaking authority of the Commission.

(Pub. L. 111–203, title IX, § 939F, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1889.)
cite as: 15 USC 78o-9