Rating Agencies...and the future

I see rating agencies have downgraded Lehman and AIG today. Do you need further proof of their worthlessness? What I don’t get most about them is this: How a company’s capital requirement is depended upon a rating? (Such as having to raise such and such capital if their rating gets downgraded to a certain level.) I wonder going forward if companies are going to let ratings agencies have such power over their debt offerings?

They are an embarassment and a joke. Time for them to go away.