Demands for more personal responsibility on the part of the CDO investor and the portfolio manager gave the rating agencies a break from the hot seat at the ASF's annual conference in Las Vegas last week.

While panelist Mark Gold, chief executive officer of HillMark Capital Management, argued that a triple-A rating should be a sufficient indicator of the quality of a deal, others repeated the view that high ratings are no longer enough of a guarantee of good collateral.

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