Has the time come to end the bizarre dominance of the international credit rating agencies...?

The recent dismal performance of Standard and Poor is a case in point. They utterly failed to spot the serious weaknesses across elements of the banking sector in the prelude to the credit crunch. And yet they are still in the position of being able to plunge sovereign nations such as Greece into the mire of being an untouchable for many financial institutions.

What might be the alternative to the current system - given that the IMF and the World Bank are suspect at the best of times...