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Waters Delivers Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing Examining the Bond Rating Industry

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following statement at a Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets hearing entitled, “A Notch Above? Examining the Bond Rating Industry.”

Thank you so very much, Chair Sherman, for holding this very timely hearing. I am so pleased with the leadership that you are providing for this subcommittee. And I am so pleased today that we have oversight on bond rating agencies, and what you have done has caused them to pull back something that would have been grossly unfair. And so, you’ve done a great job.

And as for the gentleman from Michigan, I think he does not understand that we’re in charge. I am the Chair of this Committee. You [Rep. Sherman] are one of the subcommittee chairs. He [Rep. Huizenga] does not dictate to us what our agenda is. We develop that agenda. And if he’s trying to draw attention away from the oversight on bond rating agencies, that’s not going to happen.

I have long called for robust oversight of the bond rating agencies, particularly after Wall Street’s and the financial market’s overreliance on the often erroneous credit ratings of just three agencies directly contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.

It has been my goal to empower investors and other market participants with an abundance of accurate information, and anticompetitive practices like S&P’s latest proposal run counter to these efforts. While S&P may have withdrawn this proposal, I’m concerned it and other credit rating agencies have other anticompetitive practices that if allowed to fester will harm our markets and the American public investing their hard-earned dollars. Thank you for holding this hearing, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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