Wednesday 22 February 2017

Beware the credit gods

Published 12/11/2012 | 12:39

Credit ratings agencies emerged long since as major players in the fallout from the global financial meltdown. Governments, bondholders, international agencies and top bankers seemed to regard their pronouncements as infallible.

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And in a way, they were. If a major ratings agency reduced a country's standing by just one notch, that country's debt burden would rise. If there was a deep cut, especially one to the dreaded "junk status", there would be talk of bailouts and even defaults.

Fears about the immediate future could, and still can, come into the reckoning.

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