Because governments can have lousy credit, too, Fitch Ratings issues ratings for some 17,000 banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, and governments. It's one of the top three credit rating agencies in the world (alongside Moody's and Standard & Poor's). Maintaining dual headquarters in New York and London and about 50 offices worldwide, Fitch Ratings engages in the politically charged business of rating the debt of nations. It covers companies and governments in more than 90 nations. French holding company Fimalac owns 60% of Fitch Ratings; The Hearst Corporation owns the rest. Financial statistician John Knowles Fitch founded the company in 1913.