January 22, 2015
Securities Attorneys Weigh In On SEC's $77M Settlement
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission slapped Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 with a one-year suspension from rating certain mortgage-backed securities as part of a $77 million settlement over alleged fraudulent misconduct in past ratings. Jason Canales, partner in the Securities Litigation practice, is quoted in Law360's commentary on why the settlement is significant.
“The SEC touts as 'unprecedented' its settlement with S&P over the issuance of certain alleged fraudulent ratings of its mortgage-backed securities. While this is the SEC’s first enforcement action against one of the major creditrating agencies, and it exemplifies the agency’s continued aggressive policing of the securities laws post-financial crisis, it remains to be seen whether a one-year timeout and over $77 million in fines will deter future misconduct. Perhaps the more significant pronouncement by the SEC in connection with the settlement is that there may likely be more actions brought against rating agencies in the future.”