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Unearthing the ratings agencies

Saturday, January 23, 2010
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I used this video piece by Newsnight’s Paul Mason in my A2 macro class today. It was a useful follow up to a presentation last night by Jon Moulton who was decidedly pessimistic about the risks facing the UK economy from the mountainous corporate, household and public sector debt. Paul Mason meets a couple of the people working for the ratings agencies who may decide sometime this year to downgrade the UKs triple A rating on sovereign debt. But the head of securities risk at HSBC claims that the markets have mis-priced the risk of the UK government defaulting on its new debt. The UK has never missed a coupon payment and there is a strong underlying demand for new bond issues. We covered the bond market in a recent Google wave.




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