Upgrading the rating process

As the debate rages over the usefulness of credit ratings, Moody's unveils a set of credit risk indicators derived from market movements. Will 'market implied ratings' silence the agencies' critics? Nikki Marmery investigates


Enron's spectacular descent into the biggest corporate bankruptcy ever seen in the US surprised everyone. Not least the rating agencies that were still tipping the energy firm as an investment-grade credit four days before it filed for bankruptcy protection on December 2, 2001.

Their collective failure to rate Enron's creditworthiness adequately in the weeks leading up to its collapse earned the rating agencies the lasting enmity of US lawmakers, who have been dying to get their hands on the

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