Fitch Says Euro Zone is Still “Muddling Through”

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: International, S&P 

Fitch Chief Executive Paul Taylor told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview at the Institute of International Finance conference in Copenhagen that the currency union is still “muddling through” its debt problems.

Bloomberg also reports that at the same conference Mr. Taylor struck out at governments trying to rein in ratings agencies. “There are too many politicians talking about ratings from my point of view at the moment…There must be some advisers around that should be talking to some politicians about being less vocal about ratings.”

Placing a burden of proof on agencies, Mr. Taylor said in a question and answer period, would “completely blow up the system”. Mr. Taylor also repeated the long-held position that rating agencies do not offer expert advice. “We’re not really a financial institution,” he said. “We’re more like a publishing house.”

Remarks made at the same conference by Standard & Poor’s President, Douglas Peterson, were more accommodating to governments seeking greater control over rating agencies. Bloomberg reports him saying, “The rating agencies can play a role in ensuring that there continues to be transparent information provided by those securities in a way that is done under strict standards of governance and control.” Relying on rating companies will help provide “consistency,” Peterson said.

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