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In an apparent response to criticism that the three credit rating agencies were slow to downgrade bad actors like Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc., the Securities and Exchange Commission admitted a fourth company to the exclusive group it regards as qualified to provide corporate bond ratings. The point? To inject a little competition to get debt analysts on their toes about spotting trouble. A noble mission, but how much of a threat does the new entrant, Canada’s Dominion Bond Rating Service Ltd., really pose? In the short run, not very much; any potential will take some time to develop.

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