The need for differentiating ratings for less-understood assets may be an important lesson learned from the current mortgage crisis, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren said yesterday.

“The uncertainty surrounding ratings has caused a variety of financial markets to become illiquid and caused very significant write-offs at major financial institutions,” he told the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, according to text of the speech released by the Fed. “Considering ways to differentiate ratings on assets like corporate securities from ratings on assets whose rating histories and price-drivers may be quite different, and less well understood, is probably a first important step.”

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