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NYTimes: S.&P. Settlement Leaves Future Unclear for Ratings

It cost $1.37 billion, but Standard & Poor’s has finally appeared to close the darkest chapter in its 150-year history as a rating agency.

Yet that payout announced on Tuesday, which will settle an array of government lawsuits that accused S.&P. of inflating the ratings of subprime mortgage investments, does not represent closure for the broader ratings business. An uncertain future still lies ahead for S.&P. as well as for its main rivals, Moody’s and Fitch.

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