Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Scary Credit Ratings Haunt Banks In Europe and U.S.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels once said that Communism haunted Europe like some kind of freaky spectre, or words to that effect.  That ghost passed into nothingness but now a new one is hanging around - the spectre of collapsing credit ratings:

Slow economic growth and austerity measures in European Union countries may have negative rating implications for some sovereign ratings, Moody's Investors Service said on Monday.

Come on now, who's afraid of a little credit downgrade?  Well, for starters, European banks that played along with phony stress tests ought to be quaking in their boots.  Bad loans frighten bankers so badly that even here in the States the Fed is terrified of court-ordered scrutiny that will reveal just how close to failure some U.S. banks have come.  Bankers can look forward to more such scares as courts take an increasingly hard line on forcing disclosures of settlements

Man, I'm on a roll with all this linkin' goin' on.