Tough Credit Rater Leaves S&P (WSJ)

Mark Adelson’s high standards for rating criteria led to unprecedented downgrades.

Mark Adelson, an executive at Standard & Poor’s who pushed for tougher credit rating criteria, has left the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. Adelson was hired in 2008 to restore confidence in S&P’s ratings at a time when the agency was under fire from regulators and lawmakers for its role in the financial crisis. He served as S&P’s chief credit officer until late 2011, when he was moved into a research position.

Adelson was a brash and controversial figure whose changes to criteria led to downgrades, including S&P’s removing its Triple-A designation from U.S. debt last year. According to an internal memo, Adelson left S&P to pursue other interests.

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