S&P's Downgrade (By A German Analyst) Is A "Politically-Motivated" Decision Aimed At Polish Authorities

Tyler Durden's picture


The Standard and Poor’s rating agency, notorious for its controversial assessments, has this time bashed Poland in the wake of the anti-Polish frenzy whipped up by the European media. To be more precise, Poland was assailed by a German S&P analyst who lowered Poland’s rating from A- to BBB+, despite the economic data that by no means warrant such an evaluation. The agency concedes that the change of the assessment of Poland’s solvency has been brought about by the alleged  unfavourable political climate in the country. It is unfavourable especially for the financial and banking sector; the latest law levies a new tax on the banks. The lowering of the rating is aimed at curbing the activities of the Polish government which will now be compelled to take out loans under worse financial conditions as before and as a result have difficulties keeping its election promises.

On Friday afternoon (Jan. 15) President Andrzej Duda signed into law an act on bank tax within the meaning of which from February 2016 it will be mandatory for banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to provide the country’s budget with 0,44% of the value of their assets. A few hours earlier on the same day, the President laid down a draft law that comes to the aid of the citizens who had taken out loans in the Swiss franc and who have found themselves in financial trouble after the exchange rate of the Swiss currency was floated. The Polish right-wing media tout the lowering of Poland’s rating as a retaliatory move against the Polish authorities on the part of the financial sector.

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S&P makes no bones about it: the decision has been made due to the political situation in Poland. They failed, however, to explain how the changes in the Constitutional Tribunal and the takeover of the public mass media (rather controversial moves) might directly affect the government bond yield. What the agency could have reservations about is rather the fiscal condition. The implementation of some of the election promises such as the lowering of the retirement age may overspend the budget; Pawe? Sza?amacha, Minister of Finance, is doing his best trying to fit the socialist ideas of the party’s leaders to the economic reality, though, by putting such reforms off.

The rating was lowered mainly by S&P German analyst Felix Winnekens, who specializes in Central European affairs. It is no secret that German politicians and especially the German media have no favourable attitude to the new Polish authorities. A few skirmishes between Polish and German politicians have broken out including accusations of ‘Nazi heritage’ on the one hand and a ‘coup d’etat against democracy’ on the other.

So that even Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, an erstwhile Polish prime minister and the chief political opponent of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) that is currently holding the reins of power, has blamed the Western media for distorting the real situation in Poland. Felix Winnekens seems to believe that democracy in Poland is threatened and that the Central Bank may soon lose its independence; it was on Thursday that Marek Belka, the president of the National Bank of Poland, ascertained that the low exchange rate of the z?oty resulted from the global factors, so much so that the situation at the bond market proved that the economy was in good shape. Now, as a result of the S&P rating the yield of the Polish bonds skyrocketed, an event that President Marek Belka himself could not have predicted.

He could not have because the decision was made in contravention of the accepted standards. The minister of finance claims that the agency has failed to thoroughly discuss the issue with the authorities1, left no time for appeal and has decided to change the rating without first having changed the outlook from the positive to the negative, which is the accepted procedure. The other two rating agencies, Fitch and Moody’s, did not recognize the current situation as warranting the lowering of the rating from level A- down to A2; nor did they lower the outlook, assessing it as rather ‘stable’.

S&P is known to have negligently assessed a country’s risk. In 2008 the agency contributed to the financial crisis, cheating its clients about the financial trustworthiness of Lehman Brothers’ and the CDO instruments, an act for which it had to pay compensation to the USA government amounting to $1,5 billion. The same agency victimized France lowering the country’s rating in 2013; Ireland, interfering in the internal affairs of the country; and Russia, whose authorities believe the lowering of the country’s rating has been done at the behest of the USA2. S&P also bashed Viktor Orban, Poland’s great ally, a politician whose example Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski follows, who, too, had to come to terms with a very low rating of Hungary despite Hungary’s impressive economic growth.

Every cloud has a silver lining, though. The Polish z?oty crashed after the S&P’s decision, so the Polish exports are going to gain momentum. It will be the first time in recent history that Poland is going to have a foreign trade surplus. A cheaper z?oty is a turn for the better for Polish exporters and a turn for the worse for importers. It will also be harder for foreign companies, like German ones, to sell products in Poland.


Facts relating to S&P and Poland:

  • it lowers the rating despite a positive outlook; such a procedure which is implemented but rarely, for exceptionally dramatic and appalling events;
  • it lowered the rating without first changing the assessment of the particular rating factors, such as institutional conditions that have been mentioned in the agency’s opinion accompanying the rating;

  • has suggested the central bank is running the risk of losing its independence despite the fact that the report recognized the monetary situation as a strong aspect of the economy;

  • if the political climate and the institutional risk in Poland is high, then why is it that the ratings for China, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are higher than that for Poland?

  • Poland’s budget deficit for 2016 according to S&P will amount to 3,2% GDP, whereas Saudi Arabia’s deficit for 2015 stood at $ 100 billion, i.e. 15% GDP;

  • Poland’s public debt amounts to 50% GDP, whereas that of Italy equals 130% and still the country’s rating is the same as that of Poland;

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cossack55's picture



Attack one of your own radio stations and blame it on the Germans.  Works every time.

Mister Ponzi's picture

There's more. The Polish constitution states that public debt must not exceed 60% of GDP. And I would always prefer the Polish rate setting panel with some extremely conservative members over the ECB clowns.

Nutsack's picture
Nutsack (not verified) Mister Ponzi Jan 19, 2016 4:56 PM

All of Europe must fall on their swords together, so that the Joo World Order may flourish!

froze25's picture

Something tells me that Central Banks should have no independence. Anything ever happen to the S&P executives that ordered that Subprime mortgage trounches be rubber stamped AAA. Remember those internal memos that got leaked?

Spooky Polish's picture

Something tells me that You don't know history.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Nothing that a few trainloads of refugees can't fix.

BarkingCat's picture

Nothing that a few cases of ammo cannot prevent.

williambanzai7's picture

Donald Tusk is a Euro shill

Amun's picture

google for

stasi agent oskar

LawsofPhysics's picture

LOL!!!  Ya think?!?!?

Remind us, what was the S&P's take on Bear Sterns, or mortgage-backed securities...

roll the motherfucking guillotines already!!!  Start with these fuckers.  Who else gets to be dead fucking wrong on all their guidance while still enjoying such compensation?

Supply lines slower than I have ever seen in my lifetime, still, could be a while before we get WWIII. 

We all know that the criminal cartels and oligarchal families that engineered and profitted from all this will not give up power and control willingly...


Kaiser Sousa's picture

Fuck u Poland...

this is the price u pay for being the lap poodles of Nato, the European Union, and most of all the United States of Sociopaths....

how u like it mother fuckers..........

- - - - - -'s picture
- - - - - - (not verified) Kaiser Sousa Jan 19, 2016 1:18 PM

they joint the nato now they are threatend to be overrun by european muslum rape policy

eu and nato are quite dangerous. they promise free political and fiscal policy, then they make the elite addict to money and wealth and then they slam the counrty into slavery

the leaders can be easily exchanged

SoDamnMad's picture

Hey shrill. Speak English. I had to read your post 4 times to figure out what you are saying.

- - - - - -'s picture
- - - - - - (not verified) SoDamnMad Jan 19, 2016 2:53 PM

im sorry my terrible inglish

TeraByte's picture

When your mother tongue is English and you can count to four, they hardly are such extraordinary merits, that validate your arrogance.


Dr. Engali's picture

No, you mean to tell me that the ratings agencies are used as a political tool to hammer debt laden sovereigns into place? Do tell....

Nico72's picture

Rating agencies are the military arm of the banks. That's how they force governments to follow their line. Of course I'm talking about big banks like JPM or Goldman sachs or Deutch bank...


Unfortunately this war is becoming more and more a "real" war as days passes by.

WTFUD's picture

War maybe but the Sides have yet to be determined. The longer this plays out i foresee the US being isolated. Couldn't happen to a better class of Sociopaths.

Nico72's picture

Sides doesn't count. Poor people will always be the one who are going to suffers the most. That's the majority of people. The tragedy will be they think they are fighting for their country but they will fight just cause of the mess creted by those sociopaths you mentioned.

WTFUD's picture

S&P = Shit&Piss

About time the Poles re embraced Vlad! You know it makes sense.

Grandad Grumps's picture

It seems S&P is bound and determined to add fuel to the belief that it is a corrupt organization that should not exist.

Look at the damage they did to the world during the last financial crisis.

Xredsx's picture

Thank you for reporting this because i have believed rating agencies where corrupted, just haven't been able find some possible evidence.


BlussMann's picture

"Felix Winnekens seems to believe that democracy in Poland is threatened and that the Central Bank may soon lose its independence;" - like exactly what happens when you give up your independence to the EU and NATO ?

Poland has the r right idea: PIS on Germany, EU and NATO.

Dominus Ludificatio's picture

Fuck the EU but not Europe. The USSA has it the other way around.

DipshitMiddleClassWhiteKid's picture

time to buy Polish gov't bonds at a discount!!


fuck krauts!!



godiva chocolate's picture

Poles were willing participants in the economic terrorism aimed at Russia when they thought they stood to benefit.  I have no sympathy when people get back what they give out.

BarkingCat's picture

You have to know the history to understand it.

Historically Poland had 3 major enemies. 

The German who kept invading them for over 1000 years.

The Mongols/Tatars who were also trying to invade Europe. 

The Russians whom Poles invaded and were also invaded by.

In 1800 Poland was partitioned and 2 of the partitioners were Germans and Russians. Neither was very pleasant in their administration. 

That is the historical context of their mentality.

They also equate the Soviet era to the Russians which is not exactly accurate.

However they should get over their problem with the Russians.



The Count's picture

Poland is being 'taught a lesson' for not following the EU rule book. And Rule #1 is: No elections where rightists win!



thisguyoverhere's picture

Geez whats with the hate? Its the politicians in these nations like Poland that are the real sleeze. Sure Poles, like any gross generalization, are not a perfect people; however, its Tusk and his slime in Brussels driving policy.

The Poles like most populations have little time to disect all the propaganda, they're too busy working to pay mortgages, taxes and utilities.

The stereotypes make for great comedy, but poor debate.

BarkingCat's picture

At least Poland has politicians that cover a wider spectrum than most other EU countries. The EU skeptic party actually won. Get back to us when that happens elsewhere. 

What's more, unlike the Greeks they actually are making changes. 

silky's picture

Well let us see if Poland will again be the europe's saviour ! * for those who don't know much of a history* As it happened in 1920 when they stopped the bolshevics from march into  Europe  or in 1683 when they saved the Vienna from the muslim Turks  attack .

Now they make the intoxicated western consumers  open their eyes again ..... on where the political correctnes will lead their countries if they dont wake up!

Long Live Polska



JailBanksters's picture

The old German / Jew thing again, like Jews are the cause of everything in the world concerning Money.

SmittyinLA's picture

Wouldn't it be cool to see Poland and Hungary go full retard CAPITALIST with Russia?

BarkingCat's picture

It would. Especially if they included all the othet countries between them.

That would make it: Hungary, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. 

Stretch it down south a bit and include Bulgaria,  Romunia and former Yugoslavian nations.


Let's give it a menacing name - The Hungary Bear Alliance. 

scatha's picture

This all about German attitude to Russia, North stream 2 and Poles are pawns in this conflict between German and US Russian politics.

Germans want peace with Russia, US does not. And now previous government dominated by German intelligence agents lost to CIA dominated government that taken over the power with populist agenda aimed to elevate German/EU  exploitation of polish people and fueling nationalistic, anti-EU and staunchly anti-Russia, Pro-US drive. A full banana republic political play.

The S&P German guy see that massively invested German capital in Poland will partially leave after loosing its political influence, a negative development warranting the downgrade which itself always pricing political conditions of economic development and not economy itself .

More on true economy  can be found here:



BarkingCat's picture

The previous government had its lips tightly around the American cock and its hands caressing the balls.

This one has a more trsditional outlook of Russia is bad and Germany is bad.

Condidering German behavior this is understandable. 

If Putin plays it smart he can actually make some gains and perhaps heal the rift. Of course US will do whatever it takes to prevent that.

TeraByte's picture

An economic war, where noble end justifies means.

bluskyes's picture

So, S&P downgrade is now a bullish indicator? How does a contrarian play this news?