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NY attorney general probing three major rating firms - source

Feb 08 2013 Karen Freifeld, Reuters

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has kicked off an investigation into three major credit ratings agencies, according to a person familiar with the matter, a move that follows the U.S. Justice Department's $5 billion lawsuit against Standard & Poor's over pre-crisis mortgage bond ratings. Schneiderman issued a subpoena to Standard & Poor’s this week, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. S&P is a unit of The McGraw Hill Cos. His office also sent formal requests for information to two other major credit rating agencies, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings, the person said. Schneiderman is seeking information related to the agencies' conduct in rating mortgage-backed securities and whether the companies abided by agreements in 2008 to make certain reforms, according to the person. The 2008 agreements, signed by the three firms, settled an earlier probe by the New York attorney general's office of the firms’ ratings of residential mortgage-backed securities leading up to

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