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Market News 

     Credit rating agencies came under fire late last summer when the market
began assigning blame for the credit crisis, as critics claimed that ratings
assigned to mortgage-related securities by the big three - Standard &
Poor's, Moody's and Fitch - were blinded by cozy relationships with debt
issuers.

After enduring months of scrutiny and attacks, the big three credit rating
agencies were criticized once again yesterday, with critics charging that
their recent efforts to shore up their shaken rating systems are too little
and too late.

Among the most vocal was New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who called
the changes "more like public relations window dressing than systemic
reform," in a statement issued late Thursday.