A federal judge ruled that investors in a structured investment vehicle containing mortgage-backed securities sufficiently alleged an actionable misstatement against the credit rating agencies and the investment bank that placed the rated notes.
The rating agencies had long argued that their ratings of securities were constitutionally protected opinion. But U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in this opinion that the ratings of securities that were distributed to a limited number of investors don't deserve the same free-speech protection as more general ratings of corporate bonds that were widely disseminated.
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