State insurance regulators are looking into shifting away from using ratings from Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and other credit rating agencies as a way of assessing portfolios of mortgage-backed bonds. If regulators move away from rating agencies, they might send a ripple through the world of bond investment. Hampton Finer, deputy superintendent of the New York Insurance Department, said the agency is "under quite a bit of pressure to respond" after rating agencies botched securities ratings.

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