Credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are key players in the governance of global financial markets. Given the very strong criticism the rating agencies faced in the wake of the global financial crisis 2008, how can we explain the puzzle of their survival? Market and regulatory reliance on ratings continues, despite the shift from a light-touch to a mandatory system of agency regulation and supervision. Drawing on the analysis of rating agency regulation in the US and the EU before and after the ﬁnancial crisis, we argue that a pervasive, persistent and, in our view, erroneous understanding of rating has supported the never-ending story of rating agency authority. We show how treating ratings as metrics, private goods, and independent and neutral third-party opinions contributes to the ineffectiveness of rating agency regulation and supports the continuing authoritative standing of the credit rating agencies in market and regulatory practices.