Fear of Junk Status Europe Seeks to Free Itself from Rating Agencies' Grip

The "Big Three" credit rating agencies can determine the fate of entire countries, by deciding whether they are creditworthy or not. Now Portugal is under pressure after Moody's downgraded its debt to junk status. European politicians want to create an alternative, even though they helped give so much power to the agencies in the first place.
The offices of Standard and Poor's in New York

The offices of Standard and Poor's in New York

Foto: Justin Lane/ dpa