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Schips, Bernd

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Weltwoche - Switzerland | 04/02/2011

Rating agencies control euro crisis

The crisis of the financial markets has shown that rating agencies do not deserve the huge respect they used to enjoy, writes Swiss economist Bernd Schips in the weekly Weltwoche, noting that notwithstanding they have continued to to be strangely influential in the euro crisis: "Rating agencies have had a hand in the ongoing currency turbulence. Their downgrading of Greece's credit rating is understandable, not so their extending of creditworthiness problems to countries such as Portugal and Spain - before the financial crisis these were well on the way to consolidating their national budgets - without also raising doubts about the rating of the US or the UK. Honi soit qui mal y pense! [Shame on him who thinks evil of it]. When people talk about developments on the financial markets, they often refer to 'market pressure', without sparing a thought for who actually triggers and controls it."

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