Standard and Poor's has downgraded the ratings – ratings on ability to repay the debt – of nine European Union countries. Excluding Germany, which has been spared and that keeps the Triple A. On balance, the surprise decision made yesterday by the U.S., half of Europe was underpowered. This means that from Monday Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia will have to pay more interest on the bonds issued by their governments because, in fact, since Monday these securities, when markets reopen, will be considered officially more risky than they were yesterday.
After the thrust of S&P, resist the elite club of Triple A: Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore. The United States came out on Aug. 5 2011 when the same S&P has downgraded the U.S. economy from AAA to AA +.
In any case, the decision by S&P shows a dramatic inconsistency on the part of rating agencies. Without disturbing conspiracy theories (that proponents raise remembering that S&P, Moody's and Fitch, the three largest rating agencies in the world are American, and that this move could be seen as an attack on the euro by US-England axis) must say that only a few days ago Fitch had ruled out a scenario cuts cascade between the EU countries. Well, after a few days the S&P – whose analysts have at hand the same budgets, the same debt, the same data – extracted from its cylinder, a stab of unprecedented proportions. Nine countries voted down and resized in one go.
A cut "inconsistent" according to the European Commissioner Olli Rehn and how he's wrong? This cut comes at a time when the European institutions are accelerating reforms after a long impasse, of which Germany can be considered the most serious charge (it is always opposite to the Eurobond and a strengthening of the ECB with treasury functions (printing money ) as is the possibility of the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, the Swiss Central Bank).
Only this week the market (and rating agencies) have "heard" the following news:
– Speeding up the modification of the Treaty of the European Union (also before March 1)
– Appreciation of the great Chancellor Merkel for reforms of Italy
– Continuation of talks between Hungary and the IMF to restore the relationship, broken after Parliament's decision to drop the Magyar Hungarian central bank's control of the ECB
In fact, all these reports have "calmed" the spread, all EU countries with the Italian back under 500.
Well just as a breeze of optimism began to blow in the EU, S&P has used a brutal ax. Cleaver, unfortunately, as rating agencies have long been criticized for their conflicts of interest and excessive weight that their judgments have on the markets, is likely to impact on market prices (and on the savings of the people who pay ultimately this duty) from Monday, when, after yet another setback, will reopen its doors.
And even if the economist Fitoussi indicates that Germany will be the next victim, when the data speak for themselves. This crisis is encouraging, at least in the short, just as Germany (which pays discount interest on the debt and continues to export with the euro and not with a overestimated Mark, in the meantime, strengthening its role of leadership and political influence in Eurozone). This crisis is also strengthening the United States and England that also while traveling on the deficit / GDP to 10% (at the level of Greece) pay interest on the debt in 10 years to below 2%. Like Germany.
Or not there is something rotten in world's rating?