With the potential for a downgrade in the credit rating of Australia, and the recent downgrade of the United Kingdom there’s been a spike in interest in credit rating opinions. While many speak of the desire for Australia to retain the coveted “AAA” rating few understand what actually goes into a credit rating. The financial industry relies heavily on the opinions of credit rating agencies, but are rating agencies providing the high-quality analysis that everyone assumes? In the article below I look at some of the criticisms levelled at ratings agencies, and the merits of ratings for different types of debt.