The mounting panic over the eurozone’s prospects was ratcheted up by yesterday’s downgrade of Greek and Portuguese sovereign debt, making these comments (reported in the London Times today) worth noting:
The European Commission today called on credit rating agencies to act responsibly after Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greece’s debt to junk status, sparking a widespread sell-off across world markets…“We of course expect that credit rating agencies like other financial players, and in particular during this difficult and sensitive period, act in a responsible and rigorous way.”
You don’t have to be a fan of the ratings agencies (who could be these days?) to suspect that Brussels means very different things by “responsible” and “rigorous.”
In any event, some hours later S&P downgraded Spain’s debt from AA+ to AA. So it goes.