17 Jul '11, 5am

Ratings agencies under attack amid eurozone debt crisis

PARIS: Ratings agencies are again under attack, with EU leaders objecting that Standard&Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings are an "oligopoly" which issues self-fulfilling prophecies of doom, greatly aggravating the eurozone debt crisis. The EU's Internal Markets Commissioner suggested a partial gag to prevent them from grading debt issued by EU economies being rescued with official funds. There is also an undertone of critical comment that they are based in the United States. "We must first and foremost be more demanding on ratings of sovereign debts," the EU's Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said on Monday. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that verification was needed "to check if there is abusive behaviour" by the agencies. "We need to examine the possibilities of smashing the rating agency oligopoly," he added. At the OECD, chief economist Pie...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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