The "big three" national ratings agencies are Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch. Investors across the world rely on ratings agencies to help assess the credit-worthiness of financial instruments. Marilyn Blumberg Cane et. al., Below Investment Grade and Above the Law: A Past, Present and Future Look at the Accountability of Credit Rating Agencies, 17 Fordham J. Corp. & Fin. L. 1063 (2012).
Credit rating agencies play a crucial role in the U.S. capital markets, and investors' increasing reliance on them has become a hotly contested topic. Asaf Eckstein, Skin in the Game for Credit Rating Agencies and Proxy Advisors: Reality Meets Theory, 7 Harv. Bus. L. Rev. 221 (2017).