Credit rating agencies are companies that provide objective estimates on how capable a debt issuer (ex. banks, companies, governments) is in fulfilling its debt obligations. Today we usually see these valuations expressed in letters like AAA, BB+, or D.
A lot of major players in the credit rating industry started out by publishing basic information and statistics about stocks and bonds across different industries. Over time, as the amount of information available in markets began to overwhelm individual and institutional investors, a need for cohesive and simplified security analyses emerged.
Who are the major players in the credit rating industry?
Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch Ratings are currently the top dogs in the biz.