Many collateralized debt obligations have lost a significant amount of their value, but credit rating agencies continue to collect millions of dollars in fees annually to report on their performance. "Ratings surveillance" payments, as the fees are known, are paid before investors receive payment under CDO contract terms. They are also paid regardless of the accuracy of the rating. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other regulators have issued proposals to link the charges to the performance of the underlying CDO deal.
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