Ratings agencies are the unsung heroes of the financial world. Toiling deep in the weeds of corporate finances, they do their jobs without expectation of fabulous bonuses or everlasting glory. No one gets famous correctly calling a credit risk, yet endless infamy awaits those who fall asleep at the switch.
But once in awhile the lonely credit rater gets a rare chance to make a splash. Who can imagine the rapturous feeling that must have enveloped the S&P Global Ratings agent who had the honor of downgrading the credit of the United States of America? There are precious few of these days in a rating agency functionary's life.
On Monday, some lucky soul at S&P had such a day:
S&P Global Ratings on Monday lowered its outlook on rival rating agency Moody’s to “negative” from “stable” and affirmed its BBB+ rating after Moody’s agreed to acquire electronic business and company data publisher Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing for about $3.27bn.
Public service announcement to those who live and/or work in lower Manhattan: Beware roving bands of mid-career finance professionals menacingly wielding calculators as they circle one another in lockstep and snap along to a spicy jazz number.