Berating agencies

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Rating agencies are under attack. A sharp rise in delinquencies in US subprime mortgage loans has forced them to embark on a plethora of rating actions since July. Hundreds of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBSs) and collateralised debt obligations of asset-backed securities (CDOs of ABSs) - including some AAA-rated tranches - have been downgraded so far, with more set to follow. The actions have severely shaken confidence in the reliability of credit ratings, and have caused

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