The World from Berlin: 'Ratings Agencies Are Not Responsible for Crisis'

The World from Berlin: 'Ratings Agencies Are Not Responsible for Crisis'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 17, 2012

Standard and Poor's has downgraded the European bailout fund, the EFSF, following last week's downgrade of nine euro-zone members. European politicians are doing their best to exude calm. German observers argue that the messenger shouldn't be blamed for bad news. more... Comment ]

The World from Berlin: 'There Is No American Ratings Conspiracy'

The World from Berlin: 'There Is No American Ratings Conspiracy'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 16, 2012

Several German politicians have reacted angrily to the decision by Standard and Poor's to downgrade the ratings of nine euro-zone member states on Friday, complaining that the euro is "under attack." German commentators scoff at the idea on Monday, but say that the agencies have too much power. more...

Rating Aftermath: France Downgrade Creates Pressure for Merkel

Rating Aftermath: France Downgrade Creates Pressure for Merkel

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 14, 2012

With Standard and Poor's decision to punish nine euro-zone countries with downgrades and to strip France and Austria of their AAA ratings, Germany is likely to face additional burdens in the euro bailout fund in order to ensure cheap lending to save the common currency. Some are calling for Chancellor Angela Merkel to abandon plans for a tax cut in Germany. more...

Triple-A Headache: Ratings Agency Set to Downgrade France

Triple-A Headache: Ratings Agency Set to Downgrade France

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 13, 2012

In a major setback for euro rescue efforts, reports on Friday emerged that ratings agency Standard and Poor's was likely set to downgrade the credit ratings of France and other European Union nations. Following the news, the value of the euro fell sharply. more...

Former Deutsche Bank CEO Hilmar Kopper: 'Money Needs Laws'

Former Deutsche Bank CEO Hilmar Kopper: 'Money Needs Laws'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 29, 2011

As the former head of Deutsche Bank, Hilmar Kopper was once the most powerful banker in Germany. In an interview with SPIEGEL, the 76-year-old takes stock of his career and the current crisis shaking Europe. The three main constants he has seen in the world, he says, are "money, avarice and greed." more... Comment ]

'Completely Exaggerated': EU Leaders Angry at Standard and Poor's Ratings Warning

'Completely Exaggerated': EU Leaders Angry at Standard and Poor's Ratings Warning

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 06, 2011

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's has piled pressure on EU leaders to come up with a deal to save the euro, warning that it may downgrade 15 of 17 euro-zone countries -- including powerhouse Germany. EU politicians have criticized the move. But the agency on Tuesday added that it may downgrade the euro bailout fund as well. more...

Accidental Downgrade or Glimpse of Future? Why France Should Be Worried About Its Rating

Accidental Downgrade or Glimpse of Future? Why France Should Be Worried About Its Rating

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 15, 2011

The recent downgrade by Standard & Poor's may have been an error, but France is unlikely to be able to hold on to its top credit rating for much longer. The country's financial data indicates a loss of its AAA mark is likely in the not-too-distant future -- something that would spell yet more bad news for Europe. By Stefan Kaiser more... Comment ]

Downgrade Downer: France Angry at Credit Rating Gaffe

Downgrade Downer: France Angry at Credit Rating Gaffe

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 11, 2011

The French finance minister has reacted angrily to a credit-rating gaffe by Standard and Poor's. The agency accidentally sent out an email suggesting that France had lost its triple-A rating. Many are asking how the firm could have made such an embarrassing slip-up at a time when markets are especially jittery. more... Comment ]

Temporary Prohibition: EU Considers Ban on Country Ratings

Temporary Prohibition: EU Considers Ban on Country Ratings

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 20, 2011

Ratings agency forecasts are throwing entire countries into financial crises by driving up interest rates on bonds. Now the EU is considering a ban on ratings for countries that are in the process of negotiating economic bailout packages. more...

The Next Domino? Top Economists Warn of France Downgrade

The Next Domino? Top Economists Warn of France Downgrade

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 17, 2011

Top German economists are warning that France's AAA rating could be in danger should additional measures become necessary to prop up indebted euro-zone members or to save ailing banks. With debt relief for Greece under discussion, it may be a question of when, not if. more...