Huffpost Business

Credit Rating Agencies Defend Track Record

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Executives from major credit rating agencies on Wednesday were accused by senators of being hampered by conflicts of interest that may have contributed to the mortgage market turmoil rattling investors worldwide.

The biggest rating agencies --Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings -- are under fire from critics who say they failed to give investors adequate warning of the risks associated with mortgage-backed securities. Those securities are now plummeting in value as home-loan defaults soar, particularly among borrowers with weak, or subprime, credit histories.