S&P Rating Agency Delegation Vists Greeks Bearing Gifts
It appears all it takes these days to get invited for some free ouzo and a little sirtaki is to issue a note that one's minions are about to downgrade Greece. This is precisely what has happened to analysts from S&P, which last week announced it was looking at notching Greece closer to junk status (currently BBB+). Market News, quoting Greek officials who apparently have a rumor retention span of about 2 seconds before they blast anything and everything to their entire rolodex, reports that "a team from ratings agency Standard & Poors is on its way to Athens for talks Tuesday with government officials about the country's economy and ongoing efforts to reduce its public sector budget deficit." Not too surprisingly, S&P had no comment by how much it would upgrade Greece following this gift reception ceremony.
More from Market News:
The Greek sources said officials in Athens were initially reluctant to receive the S&P team this week. They preferred to wait until after March 16, when EU finance ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels and render their judgement on Greece's deficit-cutting efforts -- including new measures the government has announced recently in addition to its original "Stability and Growth" plan.
The sources said the Greek government believes there will be a clearer picture on Greek budget figures for the first quarter after March 16.
But according to these sources, S&P said it planned to publish a new assessment of Greece before March 16, whether or not its team was received in Athens. At that point, the decision was made to allow the S&P team to come this week, the sources said.
We expect Fitch to be on the next Greece sponsored G-V flight out of Tetherboro. And keeping up with the parlance of our times, mile high bottle and hostess service is now called "damage control."
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