Sean Egan on Europe, and Why They Are Always Out in Front of the Other Ratings Agencies
Stunningly he didn't tout fixing a debt problem with adding more debt
"the problem to date, has been debt to gdp for most of the periphery countries has been increasing and it seems as though there's no end in sight for that"
On the real economy
"what you want to do is get a handle on how weak the banking sector is"
"History has shown that the banks & sovereign credit risk have been joined at the hip"
"as the banking sectors go, the countries go"
On the ECB helping
"All these injections effectively subordinate all the other creditors"
On how it all will end
"we're looking for a savior, and we haven't found one yet"
"you have to solve the underlying problem, and that is the fact that you have a heightened debt to gdp. Basically you have to figure out how to write down the debt to a manageable level"
And the punchline, which is priceless - Keene asks why Egan Jones is so far out in front of the other rating agencies
"Our business model is different. We're paid by investors, we have to earn our keep every single year. Basically we have to provide value to those investors or else they're not going to sign up again. S&P and Moody's are being paid by the issuers of debt, and they don't have the pressures to be as timely and as accurate as we do with our ratings"
"our initial positions seem crazy, over time the market came around. I think in the case of the EU, the same thing appears to be happening"