So there is plenty of work for various government agencies to do in order to address the problems with the credit ratings agencies that helped inflate the housing bubble. But the SEC has taken big steps to directly supervise the ratings firms, and is likely to take even greater control to mitigate the conflict of interest in the "issuer pays" model.

In the meantime, corporate investors and money market funds have to do their own due diligence when selecting investments. "The buck stops with the board of directors," Mayer said. "There's no longer going to be robotic reliance on the ratings."

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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