the interpretOr has given focus to the ratings agency issue because they have massive influence that impacts directly on any notion or reality of the social good.

The world was turned into an enormous market by the forces of Reagan, Thatcher and their successors, and a continuum was born – Murdoch and other major media players provided a fanfare for the idiotic falsehood of Big government BAD…’free’market GOOD’, and the ratings agencies were pivotal to this new realpolitik and to this day, still wield corrosive power.

Ratings agencies were  at the dark heart of the subprime fiasco that resulted in the 2008 collapse of Lehmann Brothers and the subsequent global financial meltdown. Why this should still be a concern to those of us with no particular interest in the minutiae of economics, is that this corrupt, venal complicity (ie. awarding worthless financial products and instruments credit worthiness) has had an enormous impact on the ability of governments around the world to provide for the sick, the poor and the elderly.

Nobel winning economists, Joseph Stiglitz (prof. of Economics @ Columbia University), and Paul Krugman (professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University) have analysed the economic data behind the idea that ‘Big Government’ was responsible for down turns, recessions and associated perceptions that only the Right can lay claim to financial responsibility and concluded independently and unanimously that there is absolutely no data to support these beliefs. 

In other words, there is no evidence that economic decline or instability is caused by social welfare. The real villain of the piece is the systematic deregulation of the finance sector and the activities of its ‘big swinging dicks’, namely S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.

(see more perspectives at: and… )

ps. I remember as a kid in England that the first thing Thatcher did upon becoming Prime Minister was to abolish free school milk. I’m obviously not over     that one. Anyway, truth is often stranger than fiction.