The world was shocked when Moody’s stripped France of its triple-A status in 2012, less than a year after the country’s downgrade by Standard & Poor’s. On what did these agencies base their assessment? Was the downgrade justified, or was it a political move on the part of American-based corporations to attack the euro? This program investigates the three top credit rating agencies—Moody’s Investor Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings—looking at who they are, how they became so powerful, and the economic, political, and social consequences of their pronouncements. The video includes analysis from experts such as David Levey, the former director of European Sovereign Ratings at Moody’s, and Jerome Fons, another former Moody’s executive, who says that credit-rating a country “is nothing but a guessing game.” (Portions with English subtitles)
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