Whatever love there was left in Brussels and Frankfurt for ratings agencies, it has almost evaporated.
Standard & Poor’s may have had some good arguments. But its downgrading of Greece and Portugal - and now Spain - has not exactly helped calm financial markets as officials try frantically to put together a rescue package in Athens. For the European Central Bank, the downgrading of Greece to junk status has created particular complications. If other agencies followed S&P, Greek assets would become ineligible for use as collateral in ECB liquidity operations for which the minimum requirement is BBB-. Read more