``Credit rating agencies were lambasted for their role in deepening the financial crisis, when mortgage-backed debt they had awarded top ratings to rapidly lost value as US house prices fell. In a ruling in Australia last month, a judge found S&P liable for assigning misleading ratings to debt acquired by local governments in the run-up to the financial collapse.''

This is an amusing exchange between two highly-irresponsible offenders. Japan of course has been monetizing its own debt for two decades and has just passed the point where its population is no longer putting money away, meaning the Japanese bond market is completely supported by debt monetization now. Perhaps S&P should demonstrate its new zeal for fundamentals-based ratings by downgrading Japan a few more notches.

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