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Head… Sand… Juxtaposition of Concepts

October 20, 2011

Andrew Stuttaford at NRO noted this one today, the original is here.

The European Commission is considering a ban on rating agencies publishing their assessments of EU countries in difficulty, the Financial Times Deutschland reports.

The European Union’s commissioner for internal markets and services Michel Barnier has drawn up a draft proposal empowering the new European Securities and Markets Authority to “temporarily prohibit” agencies from publishing their analyses on a country’s solvency, the newspaper said on Thursday.

How dare ratings agencies do thier jobs while Europe tries to prove to the rest of the world that everything is just FINE, thanks.  Nope, we don’t want any icky news getting out about Portugal or anything.  Never mind that the country looks like a scene from Weekend at Bernie’s Part 17: Bernie Goes Banking.

Politicians accuse rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch of totally misrepresenting the financial situation of individual countries, thereby only intensifying the crisis further.

How about: Unknown Bloggers accuse politicians such as — well, all of them — of totally misrepresenting the people who elected them, thereby creating crisis where market factors could take over.

This gels nicely with a quick throw-away this morning on FNN between Gaddafi news where Bob Massi — normally a sound guy — agreed that the feds shouldn’t prop up the housing market forever, just right now for a bit.  Maybe we’re all just trying to avoid the fact that the world is past teetering on the brink and that it fell in quite some time ago.  Throwing dirt in the hole before the body falls in is called preventative maintenance.  Afterwards, it’s called burying.

So I suppose we can ask Moody’s to stop watching Portugal.  Since I’m feeling vindictive today, I’d suggest Moody’s do a nice report about how they’re not going to monitor any of the credit in Europe for a while, and that they’d suggest everyone just run now.  Or better, they can nicely suggest that the banks be allowed to get into the credit ratings business, creating some competition.  The banks will happily prop up the credit rating as they get a nice influx of case from the governments in Europe while everyone grabs a shovel…

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