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Three dominant credit rating agencies are prohibiting the use of their ratings in new bond sales in the US. Standard and Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch are all refusing new bond issuers use of their ratings, until they gain a better understanding of their new legal liability.
The financial reform bill holds credit rating agencies liable for the quality of their rating decisions, and makes it easier for investors to sue these companies if the bond suffers loss. But the restriction is already causing troubles for new bond issuance, as some are requested to quote credit ratings in their formal documents with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.