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The Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing the method Standard & Poor’s used to cut the U.S.’s credit rating and whether the firm properly protected the confidential decision, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

SEC inspectors are examining S&P’s policies for conducting such analyses and whether those procedures were followed when the New York-based firm downgraded the U.S.’s credit rating Aug. 5, said the person, who declined to be identified because the inquiry isn’t public.

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