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    Not Quite Checkmate for the Bundesbank

    The Bundesbank is now powerless to stop the eurozone’s debts becoming mutualized on the ECB’s balance sheet. But acquiescing might secure for Germany some degree of control over the terms of surrender, says Simon Nixon.


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    Sony Aims to Release ‘The Interview,’ but How?

    The aborted release of “The Interview” has led to follow-up questions for Sony Pictures Entertainment, as the Hollywood studio’s outside attorney insisted the film “will be distributed.” The chief hurdle: how?

World

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India

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    India’s Nuclear Ambitions Rattle Tsunami-Hit Coast

    Along India’s southern coast—ravaged by the 2004 tsunami—a new nuclear plant towers over the shoreline. Activists, fearful of a repeat of the Fukushima meltdown, want to stop the plant from going online.

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    Photos of the Day: Dec. 21

    In photos picked Sunday by Wall Street Journal editors, women hug at a memorial for two police officers killed in New York, men try to keep warm during a cold spell in Allahabad, India, families mourn eight stabbing deaths in Cairns, Australia, and more.

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    See a Guinea Pig in a Holiday Stole and More

    Dogs and cats have long been showered with toys and treats for Christmas. Now other types of animals are being included in holiday festivities, with apparel for a range of small pets.

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    Big Small Talk: Dec. 19-26

    From the biggest Elvis Presley retrospective ever held in Europe and a new exhibition of the Paris Magnum photographers to a shoe collection inspired by Hollywood’s golden age—the things you need to know this week.

  • [image]Ilyas Sheikh/European Pressphoto Agency

    Prayers and Protests Follow Attack in Pakistan

    Protests, prayers and vigils spread from Pakistan to Nepal and India in reaction to news of the attack at the army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, that resulted in 132 children and nine school staff being killed.

  • [image]Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Dancing and Donations for Pope’s Birthday

    Hundreds of couples tangoed at St Peter’s Square at the Vatican Wednesday as part of a birthday celebration for Pope Francis, a proud Argentine. The pope was also treated to a cake, cards and 800 kilograms of chicken meat for the poor for his 78th birthday.

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Die Rating-Krähen beginnen zu hacken

Nun ist es tatsächlich passiert, was immer nur als Witz unter Finanzjournalisten gehandelt worden ist: Moody’s hat Standard & Poor’s (S&P) abgestuft. “Eine Krähe hackt der anderen kein Auge aus”, war bislang die Standardantwort auf die Frage, warum die Ratingagenturen, die während der Finanzkrise wegen katastrophalen Fehlurteilen unter heftigen Beschuss gerieten, sich nicht gegenseitig herunterstuften.

Reuters
Moody’s hat dem Konkurrenten S&P einen Denkzettel verpasst.

Nach der Klage des US-Justizministeriums gegen S&P hat jetzt aber Konkurrent Moody’s die Kreditwürdigkeit der S&P-Muttergesellschaft McGraw-Hill um zwei Stufen auf Baa2 gesenkt. Die Bonitätsnote ist damit nur noch zwei Schritte vom Ramschstatus entfernt. Und es droht sogar eine weitere Herabstufung, denn der Ausblick für das Rating ist negativ.

Kritiker behaupten, das Geschäftsmodell der Ratingagenturen fuße auf einem handfesten Interessenskonflikt: Denn ihr Geld bekommen die Kreditwächter ausgerechnet von den Unternehmen, deren Papiere sie bewerten. Das war zum Start der Ratingagenturen anders, der Gründer von Moody’s, John Moody, verkaufte um 1900 seine Bewertungen an die Geldanleger. Es wird gesagt, die Ratings seien damals viel zuverlässiger gewesen, hätten aber weniger Geld eingebracht.

Der Grund für die S&P-Abstufung war natürlich nicht der eingebaute Interessenskonflikt, sondern die Klage des US-Justizministeriums, die nach Meinung von Moody’s ein erhebliches Risiko darstellt. Der US-Generalstaatsanwalt Eric Holder verlangt von S&P eine Strafzahlung von 5 Milliarden US-Dollar. Im Zentrum der Klage stehen Bonitätsnoten für Hypothehentitel. S&P hatte den Papieren, die sich letztlich als Schrottpapiere herausstellten, ein Spitzenrating verpasst.

Vielleicht dauert es nicht lange, bis S&P zurückfeuert. Derzeit bewertet S&P den Konkurrenten Moody’s mit BBB+. Damit rangiert Moody’s eine Stufe höher als S&P. Doch sollte das US-Justizministerium weitere Ratingagenturen aufs Korn nehmen, dann könnte sich das rasch ändern.

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Europe Edition - Latest News, Breaking Stories, Top Headlines From Europe - Wsj.com
  • Subscriber Content Read Preview

    [image]Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

    Not Quite Checkmate for the Bundesbank

    The Bundesbank is now powerless to stop the eurozone’s debts becoming mutualized on the ECB’s balance sheet. But acquiescing might secure for Germany some degree of control over the terms of surrender, says Simon Nixon.


What’s News —

Business & Finance

[image]

Europe

Media & Marketing

  • Subscriber Content Read Preview

    [image]

    Sony Aims to Release ‘The Interview,’ but How?

    The aborted release of “The Interview” has led to follow-up questions for Sony Pictures Entertainment, as the Hollywood studio’s outside attorney insisted the film “will be distributed.” The chief hurdle: how?

World

Health & Wellness

India

  • Subscriber Content Read Preview

    [image]

    India’s Nuclear Ambitions Rattle Tsunami-Hit Coast

    Along India’s southern coast—ravaged by the 2004 tsunami—a new nuclear plant towers over the shoreline. Activists, fearful of a repeat of the Fukushima meltdown, want to stop the plant from going online.

launch
Close

How to Read this Chart

  • High
  • Current price, up from close
  • Price at prior day's close
  • Current price, down from close
  • Low

Photos

  • [image]carlo allegri/Reuters

    Photos of the Day: Dec. 21

    In photos picked Sunday by Wall Street Journal editors, women hug at a memorial for two police officers killed in New York, men try to keep warm during a cold spell in Allahabad, India, families mourn eight stabbing deaths in Cairns, Australia, and more.

  • [image]PetSmart

    See a Guinea Pig in a Holiday Stole and More

    Dogs and cats have long been showered with toys and treats for Christmas. Now other types of animals are being included in holiday festivities, with apparel for a range of small pets.

  • [image]Elvis Presley Enterprises

    Big Small Talk: Dec. 19-26

    From the biggest Elvis Presley retrospective ever held in Europe and a new exhibition of the Paris Magnum photographers to a shoe collection inspired by Hollywood’s golden age—the things you need to know this week.

  • [image]Ilyas Sheikh/European Pressphoto Agency

    Prayers and Protests Follow Attack in Pakistan

    Protests, prayers and vigils spread from Pakistan to Nepal and India in reaction to news of the attack at the army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, that resulted in 132 children and nine school staff being killed.

  • [image]Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Dancing and Donations for Pope’s Birthday

    Hundreds of couples tangoed at St Peter’s Square at the Vatican Wednesday as part of a birthday celebration for Pope Francis, a proud Argentine. The pope was also treated to a cake, cards and 800 kilograms of chicken meat for the poor for his 78th birthday.

Journal Report: Wealth Management

Featured Property

An Advertising Feature
  • Property Image

    Ranch 8B Bar B Bar Linger Longer Drive

    Jackson, WY 83001

    7,500,000 0 Bedrooms, 0 Baths

    This 36 acre ranch site offers a large building envelope with protected views in every direction. The...

    More Details »

Follow The Wall Street Journal Europe News

Partner Center
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