The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has launched an industry-wide, investor-led task force to examine the credit rating agencies and make recommendations on ratings, the rating process, and the regulatory issues that surround the agencies.

The SIFMA task force will also address calls from several state issuers and other market participants for the "harmonization" of rating agencies' municipal ratings with corporate, or so-called global, scales. In a letter Monday, SIFMA endorsed a plan by Moody's Investors Service to provide a global rating to municipal issuers, but said it should be free of charge.

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