Given their well-known incorruptibility and infallibility, is it any wonder that ratings agencies would take exception to any suggestion that they might do wrong?
Well, that's exactly what those outback yahoos in Australia seem to be implying. So Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's are picking up (most of) their toys and going home, withdrawing their applications to offer corporate debt ratings. The lily-white ratings agencies object to a new rule, coming into force on Jan 1., that would turn over disputes between the all-knowing and their idiot retail investor clients to a financial ombudsman.
But that "would effectively be second-guessing S&P's analysts," S&P cries! "This would ultimately create investor confusion and harm financial markets." And S&P has never done anything like that.
And how dare Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd accuse them of being "hopelessly conflicted by the lure of big profits in return for easy ratings." Give us one piece of evidence, Mr. Rudd.
OK, two pieces of evidence. Three?Four?
Give us one more piece of evidence than you are able to provide, Australia. Then, and only then, will the great unspoiled ratings agencies consider allowing some ex-convict to tell them how to do their jobs.
S&P withdraws Aussie licence application [Sydney Morning Herald]
S&P Joins Moody's to Scale Back Australia Ratings [DealBook]