Standard & Poor's, one of three rating Us sisters, on Friday ruled France from the club's Triple A. The decision – seen from the Alps – has been muffled by the joint downgrade eight other eurozone countries, Italy has officially entered the complex to the Serie B clubs (BBB +) also rated according to Us credit rating agencies (the chinese agency Dagong rated had placed Italy in this group as early as December).
The S & Poor's decision to weaken the strong half of Europe at this time, between austerity and commitments to change the choral EU Treaty, has been strongly criticized by leading members of the European political class. Merkel has minimized instead: "Italy and Spain will be able to convince the markets." A sentence, however, may sound like that of a friend who after winning a derby says the friend who has lost: "Come on, the next time you will remake". Because, as mentioned several times in this blog, there is a strong feeling – supported also by striking numbers – that Germany, at least in the short term, is gaining from this crisis, for three reasons: 1) It pays discount rates on its debt (at sub-zero real), 2) increasing its political weight in international relations; 3) German companies are strengthening the competitiveness comparing the Eurozone sisters. In this sense, Germany travels in the same direction of England and the United States.
The S & P's decision, however, has suffered a blow in the financial markets. Because after the first opening in red and with a spread increase (probably due to speculation) the equity and bond markets have also responded with calm indifference to the massive cutting of demonstrating ratings.
And here the second point: the basic indifference continued even after Moody's, another U.S. rating agency, this morning confirmed the Triple A rating for France, taking the distances sharply to only 24 hours (financial) from the view of the competing S & Poor's. To be honest even Fitch, the third U.S. agency, has indicated in recent days that France is Triple A, at least until 2012. Differences of opinion – even though financial analysts to put the same documents under consideration before making the assessment of solvency (rating) – which show why the ratings are at this moment out sightseeing.
It’s true, the markets have snubbed reports of rating agencies. But there is a concern more for the Italian BTP, as a result of the S & P downgrade of Italy (BBB +).
Some funds and institutional investors by statute can not invest in securities rated lower than A. As confirmed by Mr. Giansanti Alexander: "The rating cut to BBB + Italian permanently reduce the investor base on the country's bonds." Italy will therefore need a "strong shift to domestic investors or will be very difficult for the country continue to emit the same amount of bonds."
So it is no coincidence that today – as Bloomberg notes – the European Central Bank would intervene massively in the markets to buy BTP Italian and Spanish bonos, cooling spreads.