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Understanding Risk


The Truth About Credit Ratings


Ratings play an important role in today's capital markets. They help to foster the dramatic growth, the stability, and the efficiency of international and domestic markets, which now encompass more than $80 trillion of rated bonds and other fixed-income securities.


The ultimate value of a rating agency's contribution to that market efficiency depends on its ability to provide ratings that are clear, credible, accurate risk opinions based on a fundamental understanding of credit risk. To provide a reliable frame of reference for investment decisions, the agency's ratings should offer broad coverage and also be based on a globally consistent rating process, supported by rating committees with a multi-national perspective.


When ratings meet investors' needs for reliable risk assessments, their value also extends to borrowers seeking flexible, economical funding in the capital markets, and to intermediaries, regulators, savers, governments, economists, the financial media, and a host of other market participants and observers.


A Moody's rating provides a superior "passport" to the global capital markets. Looking towards the twenty-first century, our commitment is to maintain the quality research that market participants need to understand and manage risk and to maintain access to the world's major sources of capital.