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Restoring Trust in Ratings Agencies

Restoring trust in the financial system. It's a key topic at The Economist's Buttonwood Conference in New York. It's also a key issue facing ratings agencies as they look to improve performance and prevent another financial fallout.

Maria Bartiromo spoke exclusively to Standard & Poor's President Deven Sharma at the event. S&P is the world's largest credit-rating company. Sharma told Bartiromo that "without confidence, a recovery will be very difficult." Sharma said "financial sectors need to address confidence of investors."

To address that confidence, Standard & Poor's has made changes of their own. S&P has created an analyst certification program, instituted an analyst rotation program, created a look-back review of analyst coverage, even made criteria changes to RMBS, CDO and CMBS. Sharma told Bartiromo those changes have overall "increased transparency."

As Washington tightens is oversight on Wall Street, more transparency may help prevent future fallouts in the years ahead.

Donna Burton contributed to this article.

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