Cantor, Richard and Frank Packer, "The Credit Rating Industry", Journal of Fixed Income, Vol. 5, No. 3, (December 1995), pp. 10-34.
Abstract: Ratings play a valuable role in the oversight and the smooth functioning of United States financial markets. Both investors and regulators rely on them to define investing guidelines and develop government regulations. This examination of the evolution and economics of the ratings industry shows that the meanings of specific ratings have varied over time and across agencies. This and other concerns underlie current SEC examination of the procedures for designating national agencies.