Major Credit Raters Still Dominate

Fees for credit ratings are rising faster than inflation.

West Haven, Connecticut, which has closed four school buildings over the past two years and fired 14 teachers to help cut its budget deficit, is about to pay Moody’s Investors Service almost double what it cost six years ago for a credit rating.

Joseph Mancini, finance director for the city of 55,000 near Yale University, says he has no choice other than to meet the demands of Moody’s after the municipality’s bonds were downgraded to Baa1 in January, three levels above junk, from A2.

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