Tough times still lie ahead
RIGHTLY or wrongly as one of the three big global ratings agency, Standard & Poor's (S&P) is a hugely influential voice. Rating agencies have been castigated for failing to predict the crisis but their views carry huge weight in the markets because many – even most money managers – won't touch an investment that doesn't get their thumbs up.
As we saw yesterday on the markets, S&P's view directly influences the price that Ireland pays to borrow money on the international money markets.
It was a timely piece of good news. Ireland looks set to exit the bailout at the end of the year – but staying out of trouble will mean keeping those debt costs down.