Ratings agencies might need a new role as economic commentators

20 October 2020

It’s time ratings agencies abandoned the fiscal taskmaster stuff and began focusing on economic growth and employment.

(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

With a revolution in fiscal and monetary policy underway courtesy of the pandemic, what’s the role of those traditional scourges of fiscal indiscipline, the ratings agencies?

Australia’s cherished AAA rating ranking from Moody’s, S&P and Fitch has been a source of pride for successive ALP and Coalition governments in the past decade.

Yet even with the Reserve Bank (RBA) all but abandoning its inflation target of 2% to 3% over time as a guide to whether monetary policy will be tightened or eased to try and support and bolster jobs growth, there’s no justification for the ratings agencies to go all feral and bring out the threat of a “downgrade”. Central banks, such as the RBA, fully support huge increases in debts and deficits to help national economies avoid a long and debilitating recession or worse.

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Republished from Crikey




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