Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., became the latest member of Congress to question the role ratings agencies played in creating the subprime-mortgage mess now rocking financial markets. He said the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, of which he is the senior GOP member, would hold hearings on the problems this fall. "How could they claim these loans, once they were packaged, were investment grade? A lot of people bought them because of the ratings they gave them," he said.

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