WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission staff is considering whether to remove any explicit references to "nationally recognized statistical rating organizations" from its money market fund and other rules, top SEC officials said yesterday at a conference sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Also yesterday, the National Federation of Municipal Analysts released a two-page paper on credit ratings, expressing concern that "recent statements by public officials advocating radical and sudden changes to the municipal rating scale," such as making municipal bond ratings mirror corporate ratings, "could threaten the restoration of a smoothly functioning market."

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