Posts Tagged ‘moody’s’

Moody’s Cut’s Britain’s Credit Rating; U.K. Loses Coveted AAA Status

February 23rd, 2013 Comments off

The British economy, still struggling from the aftereffects of the 2008 Global Economic Crisis and financial disaster, now has received another boot  in its ribcage. Moody’s, one of the three major credit rating agencies, has cut its assessment of the UK’s sovereign debt form AAA to  Aa1.

The U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne,  put a brave face on Moody’s slap in the face of the political managers of the British economy, by telling the media that the credit agency’s downgrade of the nation’s credit rating was “a stark reminder of the debt problems facing our country. Far from weakening our resolve to deliver our economic recovery plan, this decision redoubles it. We will go on delivering the plan that has cut the deficit by a quarter.”

Typical of other policymakers in the advanced economies gripped by a proverbial sovereign debt and economic crisis, Osborne engages in meaningless platitudes and cliches, hoping to restore market confidence shaken by a credit downgrade through the sophistry of political rhetoric. However, a politician’s words cannot on their own transform structural fiscal and economic realities that are driving the global economic crisis and its parallel sovereign debt crisis.

Cutting the deficit by a small portion through austerity measures that have thrown the British economy back into recession, which means the economic growth that is essential for the future servicing of the U.K.s massive sovereign debt, is looking increasingly more forlorn a hope, appears to be a dysfunctional remedy at best. In addition, Moody’s rating cut may impose upward pressure on gilt yields, leading to even higher future budgetary deficits. And, with a new Governor soon to take over as head of the Bank of England, it is not certain that the embattled and befuddled British politicians can rely on the nation’s central bank to again become the lender of last resort through the money printing engendered through quantitative easing.

Moody’s has done more than just kill the U.K.’s AAA credit rating; it is a reminder of how dire the economic and fiscal situation is in Britain, just as it is in the Eurozone, U.S. and Japan.


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Moody’s Downgrades Japan’s Sovereign Debt

August 25th, 2011 Comments off


Following in the wake of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government debt, Moody’s Investors Service lowered its rating of Japan’s debt by a notch, now sitting at Aa3. Japan is the most indebted major advanced economy, with a government debt to GDP ratio in the range of 200 percent. In addition to the severe natural disasters that have hit Japan this year, Moody’s stated that, “over the past five years, frequent changes in administrations have prevented the government from implementing long-term economic and fiscal strategies into effective and durable policies.”

Japan is the third largest economy in the world, only recently slightly eclipsed by China, which is now number 2 in terms of GDP. Though Japan also has large external assets that in part offset its massive sovereign debt (including U.S. Treasuries!), its worsening demographic situation along with government paralysis  creates a grim trajectory for its sovereign debt. The Moody’s rating downgrade, on top of S&P lowering its rating on U.S. government debt, tied in with the worsening debt crisis in Europe, points to an escalation in the global sovereign debt crisis, with economic ramifications that can only be highly negative.




Portugal ‘s Debt Downgraded to Junk Status by Moody’s

July 6th, 2011 Comments off

Following of the wake of S&P’s warning of a default rating for Greece, another ratings agency has weighed in on the cascading European sovereign debt crisis. Moody’s  has lowered its classification of Portugal’s sovereign debt to the level of junk. This comes despite a recent €78billion bailout from the IMF and EU, the equivalent of more than $111 billion in U.S. currency.

The latest ratings moves by Moody’s and S&P illustrate the lack of confidence that private investors have in the machinations of European politicians and their friends at the IMF in resolving the growing European debt crisis. If anything, these bailouts piled on top of bailouts, all requiring vast amounts of borrowed money financed by European taxpayers, assure that the Eurozone debt disaster will only further metastasize. It won’t be long before Portugal,  like Greece, requires a second bailout, and perhaps Ireland will follow soon. Ultimately, who bails out an increasingly indebted EU?