Thursday, July 07, 2011

Personally, I Blame Gravity

... whenever things fall. If, for example, I slip at the top of the stairs and take a tumble, it seems obvious to me that if it weren't for gravity, I'd have ended up just fine. If I jump off a diving board and do a painful belly flop into the pool, it's clearly the fault of gravity. When I drop a glass in the kitchen and it shatters on the floor, whose fault is it? Gravity's.

Curse you, gravity!

With this frame of mind, it's only natural that when I look at the debt* crisis across the globe, I blame the ratings agencies, the banks, the hedge funds and speculators.

Greece has the right idea.
The MPs, in their question, said that the recent developments indicated the EU's inability, primarily at political level, to manage and deal with the attitude of the rating agencies and their influence on the markets.

They said that this has resulted in phenomena of the policy decisions of sovereign countries and international organisations being dependent on the assessments and calculations of the rating agencies, which are being investigated for speculation and non-transparent rules of operation.
So do the Germans.
The "Big Three" credit rating agencies can determine the fate of entire countries, by deciding whether they are creditworthy or not. Now Portugal is under pressure after Moody's downgraded its debt to junk status. European politicians want to create an alternative, even though they helped give so much power to the agencies in the first place.
It's high time we put the blame in the right place.

Somewhere other than ourselves.

* - Debt is such a judgmental word. It implies that you got money from someone else and need to pay it back when in reality you were only receiving your entitlements. If you're entitled to something, there's certainly no reason to pay it back, is there? Clearly, we need a new word for debt.


Ohioan@Heart said...

The word you are looking for is "gift".

Ilíon said...

... or, perhaps, "retroactive gift."

K T Cat said...

Implicit gift?

Ilíon said...

The modifier needs to indicate that it is the recipient who gets to decide, after the fact, that it was a "gift," after all, rather than a loan.

'Theft' works in that regard.

K T Cat said...

Good point!