Thought you could shut up Egan-Jones? Sure, you could... as a NRSRO: the same worthless designation that is carried by Moodys and S&P. However, that does not prevent them to act, and provide their ratings opinion, as a non-NRSRO. Which is exactly in what capacity the infamous firm, which was targeted by the SEC for daring to downgrade the US (the same reason S&P was sued by the DOJ later), just downgraded the UK from AA- to A+.
DOWNGRADING United Kingdom FROM AA- to A+ (S&P: AAA)
THIS IS A NON-NRSRO RATING.
Synopsis: Re. the balance of payments, imports have exceeded exports by an average of 500B pounds annually over the past several years. The major problems for the UK is that Europe's banking crisis does not appear to be abating as evidenced by the problems of the Cypriot banks. On the fiscal side, the deficit to GDP has declined over the past three years from 11.5% to 8.3%, which is a respectable decline, but is still substantial; the bulk of the deficit reduction was the result of increased taxes. The over-riding concern is whether the country will be able to continue to cut its deficit in the face of weaker economic conditions and a possible deterioration in the country's financial sector. Unfortunately, we expect that the UK's debt/GDP will rise and the country will remain pressed (we are waiting for addl 2012 data). We are downgrading.