Wow. Zunguzungu has a chart of who owns McGraw Hill, which owns S&P (one of the few entities that gets to determine the US's credit rating). Would you believe Wal-Mart, ConocoPhillips, IBM, United Technologies, the American Enterprise Institute[!], General Mills, Caterpillar, and State Farm Insurance? His post raises important issues and links to discussions of them-- for instance, how agencies like S&P have recently come to acquire such visibility and influence, and that the particular irony of "this situation is that the entire debt debate was catalyzed by a financial crash which the credit agencies directly helped cause." Go read his post here.
Irony is really getting a good work-out this week, don't you think?