Only minute differences separate U.S. structured finance ratings across the credit spectrum, according to Fitch Ratings. The rating agency recently released for the second time a study that compares its own ratings with those of Moody's Investors Service and Standard and Poor's.

Unlike the first analysis, this one surveys a much larger portfolio, Fitch analysts say, providing a broad snapshot of how rating agencies differ when determining risk. Moody's analysts have reacted, saying they are not satisfied with the way Fitch crunched its numbers.

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