WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission should rank nationally recognized credit rating agencies based on performance and should help investors hold them accountable in civil lawsuits over unjustifiable inflated ratings, a bipartisan congressional panel recommended Wednesday.

The majority and minority staff of the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s permanent investigations panel made the recommendations in a 635-page report on the financial crisis called “Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse.”

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