WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday announced panelists and the agenda for its April 15 roundtable on how to improve federal oversight and regulation of the credit rating agencies.

The roundtable, which will include four panels over about six hours, comes as the SEC is considering addressing, through rulemaking, perceived conflicts of interest that are embedded in the issuer-pays model adopted by the three major agencies - a model that is believed to have played a large role in spurring the financial crisis. SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said at a confirmation hearing in January that the model is "at the heart of the conflict problem."

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