You Know, If You Wanted to, SEC, You Could Probe S&P and Threaten Its Rating License

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Standard & Poor's headquarters in the financial district of New York on August 6, 2011. The United States' credit rating was cut for the first time ever August 5 when Standard and Poor's lowered it from triple-A to AA+, citing the country's looming deficit burden and weak policy-making process. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Standard & Poor's headquarters in the financial district of New York on August 6, 2011. The United States' credit rating was cut for the first time ever August 5 when Standard and Poor's lowered it from triple-A to AA+, citing the country's looming deficit burden and weak policy-making process. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: STAN HONDA/2011 AFP

According to the 2006 Credit Rating Agency Reform Act, if the SEC decided to probe Standard & Poor's for insider trading related to their recent downgrade of U.S. Treasuries, and if they found that someone there had leaked information about it to banks or hedge funds, then the SEC could make it awfully hard for S&P to continue its rating business. But that's a long shot. Surely nobody's fantasizing about that on Capitol Hill at the moment. [MarketWatch]