'Although the precise division of UK assets and liabilities has not yet been established by the Scottish Nationalists, Fitch told the Treasury Select Committee that the lack of a repayment track record could scupper Edinburgh's chances of inheriting the UK's rating.
Under sustained questioning from Michael Fallon, MP for Sevenoaks, the director of Fitch, David Riley, said: "I am not aware of any situation where we have awarded AAA rating to a newly independent sovereign nation."
The directors from Fitch, Standard & Poor's and Moody's were being grilled over their decisions to downgrade sovereign ratings, some of which have triggered turmoil in the stockmarkets. In a sometimes heated meeting, during which Bury MP David Ruffley stormed out, the agencies denied the downgrades were "marketing" decisions made to grab headlines.
Moritz Kramer, head of sovereigns at S&P, insisted his company's decision to strip America of its AAA rating last summer was not a "mistake", even though the yield on US Treasury bonds has fallen by a fifth since then.
Asked if it were really his "belief that the US's desire and capacity to repay its debts was lower than [the AAA-rated] Finland," Mr Kramer said: "I do." He said compared with Finland, America's debt ratio was higher, its debt trajectory worse, and its political policies for debt reduction less coherent. '
oh joy.Does that mean we get to keep them?
This post has been edited by Zanu Bob: 24 April 2012 - 11:38 PM