Rating agencies: a law unto themselves?



In a recent press report the leading rating agencies laid claim to having close to 30,000 subscribers to their services. If recent commentary is anything to go by it would appear that they have almost as many critics. And it goes without saying that many subscribers are also critics. Criticism of the rating agencies reached a peak during the 2002 credit crisis but the chorus of complaint has not died despite the improved fortunes of the corporate market in the past year.

In Europe the comments ha

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