Rating agencies failed to adequately manage the conflicts of interest stemming from issuers paying for ratings of collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities, a team of attorneys from the Securities and Exchange Commission found.

A 10-month review of structured finance practices at the three major rating agencies - Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings - also revealed, among other things, that the agencies deviated from internal models in awarding top ratings to certain structured finance products that were not as safe as their ratings suggested.

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