April 23, 2011

We need to bring the credit ratings down to earth

Sir, John Authers´ “Easter parade of worries over Uncle Sam´s credit”, April 24, refers to the rating agencies wielding “real power”, but then describes that power only in terms of “affecting the rates at which companies or countries can borrow”; without making any reference to what has yielded the rating agencies the excessive power they posses, namely that the ratings also play a role when defining how much capital a banks needs to have.

It is that the credit ratings are given a double consideration, which has elevated their importance to the skies and brought us the current crisis. Let´s go back to Basel I days, or better yet Basel 0, set one single capital requirement for all bank lending; and then we have brought down the opinions of the rating agencies to something more in harmony with what they really are, a bunch of fallible humans who, had they been laboratories, would have long ago been sued out of the waters for their harmful mistaken opinions.