Eurozone threatens ratings agencies with break-up

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The Independent Online

The leading credit ratings agencies were threatened with tighter regulation and possible break-up yesterday by some of Europe's most powerful politicians.

The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said he could see no justification for Moody's recent downgrade of Portugal's debt and believed that limits should be put on the rating agencies' "oligopoly"; the scene has been dominated for decades by the big three: Moody's, Standard and Poor's and Fitch. Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, claimed Moody's downgrade of Portugal added to speculation in the markets and suggested an anti-Europe bias.