This has now evolved from amusing to troubling. I find the ratings agencies to be whoefully inadequate, but in all honesty cannot think of another more "objective" alternative. I doubt one exists.
(Reuters) - Italian prosecutors have probed Standard & Poor's headquarters in New York for alleged market manipulation in a investigation over the credit-rating agency's downgrades of Italy, a legal source said on Tuesday.
The S&P base in New York was probed by prosecutors in Trani, a small town in southern Italy, under a law which holds companies liable for crimes committed by their employees.
A lawyer for S&P in Milan said he believed the development was a "formal step" in the ongoing Trani case. S&P has rejected the prosecutors' allegations as groundless.
The probe is part of a larger investigation into a raft of downgrades by S&P, Moody's and Fitch for debt-laden Italy that prompted a sell-off of Italian assets and fuelled long-running frustration with global rating agencies.