Fed's Stern cautions on response to turmoil

Rating agency reform in the wake of the subprime debacle could cost the economy more than doing nothing, Gary Stern, the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, has warned.

The three main credit ratings agencies - Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch - have faced a barrage of criticism following the collapse of the subprime mortgage market for failing to downgrade structured products with a subprime element fast enough.

But, speaking in Singapore on Monday, Stern warned that without rat