The passage of time, in addition to being subject to dilation through the effects of e.g., relative velocity, also suffers numerous perceptual contortions depending on the observer's particular state of mind. For the purposes of day to day affairs, most humans not at relative velocities to their immediate surroundings that reach a significant fraction of the speed of light, would find these subjective changes normally accounting for the largest perceived deltas in the passage of time ("a watched pot never boils, etc.") Of course, as with most of the laws of nature, the regina scientiarum and, if you believe their analysts, even the laws of thermodynamics, when it comes to the ratings agencies, all bets are off and mere humans unable to shift their perceptions into rates more in line with geologic observations will be doomed to frustration and folly. So it is this morning with Moody's, which has, ever so subtly, maybe warned of what might someday develop into conditions that, in exactly the right environment, could potentially result in a downgrade for the Aaa rated United States and the United Kingdom... maybe sometime around 2013 or so, maybe. (Proving once and for all that Moody's finally fired analysts John Cusack and Amanda Peet). Don't be fooled by the minuteness of their movement on this subject...
Moody's Investors Service says the U.S. and U.K. must prove they can whittle down their ballooning deficits to avoid threats to their triple-A credit ratings.
In a report released on Tuesday, Moody's set the two countries apart from other top-rated sovereign borrowers, calling them merely "resilient" rather than "resistant," a label it applied to Canada, France and Germany, where public finances are in better shape.
...as at the glacial temporal velocities within ratings agency space-time this is blinding speed even if the report's official announcement tries hard to conceal it. To wit:
Among the challenges to major Aaa-rated nations like the US, UK, France, and Germany will be the pace and sustainability of economic growth and future interest rate trends, both of which affect the countries' ability to manage the significant debt burdens they have assumed as a result of the crisis. Still, the rating agency stresses that it does not see an immediate threat to the ratings of any of the 17 nations it currently rates Aaa. (Emphasis added).
Phew. That was close.
After this non-downgrade downgrade, mitigating language or not, Zero Hedge expects a flurry of non-denial denials from the usual cheerleader suspects soon to be piling out of the locker room with miniskirts and pom-poms at the ready for the briefing room cameras. Let's just hope Timmy is wearing spankies today.