Military Review

Twice two - not always four, or how do American rating agencies work

Nowadays, a rare economic review does without mentioning one of the rating agencies. Moreover, in the overwhelming majority of cases, these agencies are American. These include Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Moody's. After the first wave of crisis in 2008, the listed agencies somehow too actively declared themselves at once. The key phrase here is "after the crisis." In other words, before its attack on the world economy, many countries seemed to know that there were some American rating services that assign certain points to the economic potentials of certain states, but nothing more. There was no doubt about painstaking work in the American rating agencies, which was usually aimed solely at keeping the ratings of their main sponsors at the proper level. And the main sponsor, for obvious reasons, was the United States. It seems that, according to the definition of a free economy, the state has no right in any way to influence private financial institutions, and even more so institutions of an analytical nature of activity, but who said that these institutions are so private?

Questions about confidence in the ratings that Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's dare to give themselves have been raised for a long time. However, a truly massive dissatisfaction with the work of these agencies was expressed only after their representatives missed the onset of the crisis of 2008, which, most likely, is not letting go of the world to this day. In principle, the word "missed" is not entirely appropriate here, because the leaders of these companies, naturally, imagined the possible consequences of a large hole in the US financial system. But could they really afford to let their main donor down, thanks to which their active "research" work was carried on for many years. It was the first wave of crisis, suspiciously unnoticed by the American rating agencies, that made them announce with great enthusiasm about the kind of engagement of these offices. They say that the Americans let the crisis monster into the world economic sphere, having failed to deal with the banking deadlock of 2008, and their rating was still AAA, as the highest possible. It is as if a tennis player, having lost everything that could be lost in the season, and even refusing to participate in a couple of tournaments, stably remained the “first racket” of the world. That is, the persons who endowed him with such a status simply could not afford to lower his rating, since he paid them well.

However, it was a secret for a long time that the independence of the American rating agencies was just a big and beautiful soap bubble. After numerous hard-hitting statements addressed to the same Moody's and Standard & Poor's, they nevertheless decided to try to wash off the “dirty” accusations of working for the American debt pit. These attempts were expressed in the fact that the US rating was for the first time in many years downgraded from AAA to AA +, which has already caused a storm of indignation in the American Congress. And this storm of indignation is easily explained. It's just that people who actively sponsor the creation of rating tables did not understand how it is possible to exist on their personal money and at the same time say that the solvency of my sponsor has been shaken. This, at least, looks boorish, - the representatives of the American authorities decided and set the inspection authorities against the rating agencies, which decided to lower the financial status of the United States. Seizures of documents in the offices of companies began, accusations of incompetence, calls not to trust agencies, and much more from the same series. And after that, someone else will say that corruption is a purely Russian prerogative ...

At first, after the US credit rating was downgraded, the Europeans even applauded the decision of overseas rating agencies, forgetting for a while that they had recently accused them of incompetence and bias.

But the joy for the European Union was too short, because, having downgraded the rating of the States, the agencies decided to make amends to the sponsor and began to lower the credit ratings of European countries right and left. Even France and Austria, whose economies are relatively strong in comparison to others, have learned that the credit of confidence in their financial systems is lowered. The Portuguese and Greek level were generally "drowned". Today, for example, the Greeks have a CC rating (according to S & P), behind which only default is gaping. For example, Russia's rating is BBB, which can be classified as “stability” and “solvency”.

The downgrade has affected 9 of European countries, and this list can be considered as not closed. After the Italian authorities learned that American analytical companies decided to lower their credit rating, they followed the example of their overseas colleagues and began to "wool" the offices of the "three American whales" of analytical forecasting of financial risks.

Why are some flimsy letters or numbers in the reports of rating agencies make the leaders of the states and the business elite so nervous?

The thing is that the lower the country's credit rating, the higher interest this country will receive new loans. Debt snowball from this will only increase. It is worth quoting one indicative phrase, which was once uttered by one of the American journalists. He said that now in order to destroy the country you can not enter Tanks - simply lower her credit rating. And this, in principle, is close to the truth.

The weaker the state's economy, the more difficult it is to find funds to repay liabilities to banks. However, it also happens that a decrease in the country's rating leads to a new development impulse. One example: the downgrade of Russia's rating from 1998 to BB to D is the default on government bonds. But since then, the Russian economy began to get out of the debt trap. Certainly, the rising prices for hydrocarbons also played a role, but this is one of the positive factors for Russia.

Following active actions to lower the overall rating of the European Union, the words were heard that it was time to once and for all abandon the use of information from US rating agencies. In Berlin, Paris and Brussels, they began to speak out in favor of creating a European analytical agency that would certainly accurately assess the level of positive or negative in the European economy. Like, in this case - no bias!

In Russia, they also decided to go this route. Vladimir Putin expressed the view that it would be nice to work on the creation of a Russian analytical agency, which, of course, will also be independent.

At the same time, for some reason neither the European nor the Russian authorities are talking about what to do with the already existing rating services. For example, in Russia, Expert RA has been operating since 1997 of the year, and the National Rating Agency has been operating since 2000 of the year. And this is not a complete list. The only thing is that Russian businesses often openly look at the work of these structures through their fingers. Therefore, for these agencies to be able to raise Russia's credit rating, Russia will have to first raise the rating of these agencies themselves ...

Yes, and whether such fecundity of analytical structures around the world will lead to a positive result. In this case, you can generally advise to create a rating service in each state. And let this service assign such a rating to the national economy as the government and business of this country would like. Only all this will lead to complete confusion, and they will no longer trust such ratings in the world at all.

Therefore, dreams of a truly independent rating agency remain only dreams, because any independence also wants to eat ...
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  1. tronin.maxim
    tronin.maxim 26 January 2012 08: 02 New
    What is there to be surprised, these rating agencies put the doll in the hands of Pindos to achieve their goals.
  2. esaul
    esaul 26 January 2012 08: 05 New
    I will not say anything about Expert RA, but the Europeans themselves have already realized the role of Western Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's and Moody's! Merkel has already spoken in the sense that Europe, in the future, plans to shape its policy without looking back at the forecasts of rating agencies! This is an indicator! Agencies are US instruments in politics and finance, as well as the Hague Court, the UN, the Arab League and others ...
  3. KamikadZzzE
    KamikadZzzE 26 January 2012 09: 30 New
    The states act on the principle that you have two, two, four, and we have as much as we need and write
    1. esaul
      esaul 26 January 2012 09: 58 New
      Quote: KamikadZzzE
      , and we have as much as we need and write

      Well said buddy!
      1. KamikadZzzE
        KamikadZzzE 26 January 2012 10: 06 New
        Glad to!
    2. alexng
      alexng 26 January 2012 16: 40 New
      Because their country is led by comedians. And so, for the United States, twice two, somewhere around seven or eight.
  4. Kite
    Kite 26 January 2012 09: 38 New
    Doesn't the news sound outrageous that such an agency threatened such a country with a decrease in its rating? A rating agency, if there is one, should be engaged in the collection and processing of statistical data, with an interest only in the completeness of the data, but not in the interpretation of samples of "experts" opinions. What nonsense is this - the subjective opinions of "experts" and even more so, their interpretation.
  5. dobrik10
    dobrik10 26 January 2012 10: 28 New
    The fact of the matter is that until the rating is implemented by the human factor, everything will remain so.
    Ideally, for an independent rating in the global economy, it’s time to create a program directly tailored for this, and with the participation and control of all interested parties, nevertheless, a computer program, unlike a person, will not want to cheat in favor of someone, it uses numbers and emotions
    1. Rashid
      Rashid 26 January 2012 10: 32 New
      And, most importantly - the computer still cannot be bribed.
      1. Nick
        Nick 26 January 2012 22: 29 New
        Quote: Rashid
        And, most importantly - the computer still cannot be bribed.

        Of course, you cannot bribe a computer, and he doesn’t have a paw to put into it, but you can buy a programmer, unfortunately. In theory...
    2. DYMITRY
      DYMITRY 26 January 2012 10: 44 New
      It is possible to draw up a program, but only after that same world economy appears. Now she's gone. There is an absurd fraudulent scheme of taking away material values ​​of all mankind and redistributing them among the "golden billion". Which is given to us by blue eyes as the world economy and objective market trends.
    DYMITRY 26 January 2012 10: 41 New
    Details about how various ratings are compiled can be found in N. Starikov’s blog; he wrote about this repeatedly on this blog.
  7. Tyumen
    Tyumen 26 January 2012 11: 32 New
    Today, for example, the Greeks have an “asset” rating of SS (according to S&P), which only defaults after.
    Isn't democracy a Greek invention? smile That's the same thing.
    FREGATENKAPITAN 26 January 2012 12: 04 New
    ..... The political economy of capitalism ... Adam Smith ........
  9. Director
    Director 26 January 2012 15: 40 New
    two, in the mind, how much will be in the head?))))))))))))))))))
  10. El13
    El13 26 January 2012 17: 32 New
    How lucky we are, we survived the perestroika and the devastation of the 90s, now it’s all rubbish to us, but Europeans have nothing to compare with, only ratings alone frighten them ... I'm sorry for them.
  11. ward
    ward 26 January 2012 20: 06 New
    But the question is why do you have to pay a percentage for using money? In terms of sausage, this is absurd !!!! But if on the contrary ...