This is more than a little odd.
BRUSSELS Mar 31 (Reuters) – Credit rating agencies have warned the European Commission they could stop rating risky countries if the EU executive goes ahead with plans to make them legally liable for flawed downgrades, industry sources said.
The threat, which one expert said could remove stricken European countries from the investor map, marks an escalation in a row between the agencies and EU officials whose efforts to tackle a debt crisis have failed to stem rating downgrades.
What a ratings agency does is give an opinion. And that\’s all a ratings agency does. We think that, based upon the feeling in our water and a few sums, that this bloke/company/country is more or less likely to repay the money he\’s borrowing/borrowed.
Leave aside the lunacy of trying to determine how or when such an opinion is flawed for a moment (the obvious method to be used is when politicians say it\’s flawed, which way lies madness).
Concentrate rather on that requirement for legal liability. It will effectively make having the wrong opinion illegal: and if you\’re not allowed to have wrong opinions then you\’re effectively stating that having opinions at all is illegal.
Why they\’re doing this is obvious: the political types don\’t like the opinions currently being expressed. But I\’m pretty certain that we really don\’t want politicians being able to determine which opinions may be expressed in public, eh?