This week’s resource selections highlight the Standard & Poor’seffort to improve credit ratings assessments. The evaluation of anorganization’s enterprise risk management practices is a key strategyfor S&P – to improve their credit rating process. Considerencouraging your organization to strengthen their ERM practices – itwould make your job easier!

Have another great week.

Dan Swanson

A Roadmap For Evaluating Financial Institutions' ERM PracticesThisarticle provides further guidance on the key risk factors considered byStandard & Poor's Ratings Services when assessing the riskmanagement techniques at financial institutions. As part of our ratingsassessment, we consider how well the institution's risk policies,procedures, and tools fit its risk profile and contribute to itsstrategic and commercial development. Here, weoutline the “roadmap” of high-level issues that we considerto form our opinion on the relative strength of the various parts of afinancial institution's ERM framework.

Toward a global regulatory framework for credit ratingsGoingforward, it is important to the restoration of confidence in themarkets that all market participants take stock of what has happenedand adopt workable solutions. At S&P, we have been activelyapplying lessons from the current crisis to adopt a number ofconstructive measures. We will continue to do so. We also believeregulation can play an important role in this process, and we welcomeproposals that would, on a globally consistent basis, increasetransparency and preserve the analytical independence of ratingagencies’ opinions and analytical processes. Thiswhite paper is offered in a spirit of cooperation andopenness to promote independent, credible ratings, and to fosterinvestor confidence in the capital markets.

Progress Report: Integrating Enterprise Risk Management Analysis Into Corporate Credit RatingsInMay 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services announced itsintention to include enterprise risk management (ERM) assessments inratings of nonfinancial companies (see “Standard & Poor’s ToApply Enterprise Risk Analysis To Corporate Ratings ,” published May 7,2008, on RatingsDirect). Since the third quarter of last year, ouranalysts have begun to incorporate specific ERM discussions into theirregular meetings with the companies we rate, focusing on riskmanagement culture and strategic risk management as two universallyapplicable aspects of ERM.Read S&P's ProgressReport: Integrating Enterprise Risk Management Analysis Into CorporateCredit Ratings.

Governance: Ensuring Integrity of the Ratings ProcessS&P’ssteps to further manage potential conflicts of interest, strengthen theratings process, and better serve the markets. Read morehere.

Criteria & MethodologiesS&Pmaintains an active criteria-development process for evaluatinginsurers to stay abreast of industry trends and developments. Asthe articles below illustrate, the methodologies we apply inthis area are as dynamic as the industry itself, reflecting thecontinually changing nature of the industry. We will continue to updateour insurance ratings criteria—and this directory—as part of ourcommitment to provide timely and comprehensive insurance ratinginformation.

Standard & Poor's leadership actions Welcometo,a website designed to introduce the public to the broad array of newactions S&P has launched to further strengthen our ratingsprocesses and better serve capital markets worldwide.

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