Saturday, August 6, 2011

Credit ratings agencies, the debt ceiling, and AA+

So, apparently Standard and Poor's (S&P) downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, the first time America has been listed as anything but AAA. Now, there are problems with this move - for one, S&P seems to have screwed up their calculations by at least $2 trillion. They are also the only credit rating agency to downgrade the U.S. to AA+. That being said, this may have an impact on the global financial markets come Monday. Those things are as stable as Charlie Sheen on a bender these days, and this will probably be yet another factor that messes with them (though I suspect the problems in China [where the government is attempting to control an economic growth slowdown], and Europe [where it seems likely that Greece will default, possibly leading Spain and Portugal to default as well], are really what is driving the markets tanking) come Monday. So, you know, panic! There are two points from all of this that I find interesting. One is the main critique from S&P re: the U.S. downgrade. The other is the credibility of credit rating agencies.