The practice of "notching" adjusting ratings, or refusing to rate, certain asset pools in a structured product unless a substantial portion of the assets are rated by the same agency rating the structured product has been a controversial issue for the wider debt markets for some years now.

But the syndication of two recently launched bank-loan deals for Resolution Specialty Materials (RSM) and Ripplewood Phosphorus brought the topic back into the spotlight. Some collateralized loan obligation managers missed out on the action, not because the loans weren't attractive enough, but because Moody's Investors Service had not yet rated the underlying collateral.

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