EU slams US credit rating 'oligopoly'

Policymakers say US dominance of main credit agencies has resulted in unfair downgrades of EU countries.

    While the US finds itself in danger of a credit ratings downgrade due to a national debt crisis, a number of European countries have seen their status fall even further.

    Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch - the world's three main credit rating agencies, which are all US-based - have been criticised by European policymakers who say they have been too quick to downgrade EU states during the eurozone's debt crisis.

    Rainer Bruederle, the head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partners in parliament, puts forward a proposal on Friday to launch a privately funded, independent European agency, to break the dominance of the US agencies, according to Handelsblatt, a German newspaper.

    "Trust in the statements of the opinion-oligopoly of the three largest US agencies is one of the reasons that risks in financial markets became known too late," the business daily quoted Bruederle as saying.

    Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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