Ratings: Portuguese strike back at Moody’s

The Portuguese have created several forms of retaliation aimed at the agency that called their country “junk”

Economy What's New — 11 July 2011 by Eduardo Correia
Ratings: Portuguese strike back at Moody’s

One of the movements attacking Moody's on Facebook

One week after Moody’s Investor Services slashed Portugal’s rating to “junk”, several moves have been taken against the agency. Portuguese government reacted in a statement, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva made public announcements, and several European leaders condemned the act. All peanuts compared to what Portuguese are gearing up for, using the internet.

On Facebook, the popular social-networking website, there have been created several groups inciting a rebellion against rating agencies, such as Fuck you Fitch-Fuck you Moody’s Fuck you Standard and Poors, and Attack Moody’s.

Anonymously created, and alluding to important figures in Portuguese History, as D. Afonso Henriques (the first King) and Padeira de Aljubarrota (a popular figure deemed to have help defeat the Spanish invaders in the 14th Century) these groups have organized on-line attacks, sending continuous requests to Moody’s web address causing it to collapse. This offensive has several dates and even a digital clock stored on-line that counts down the hours until the global attack.

Last week a creative team from a Portuguese advertising agency produced a viral video also criticizing Moody’s.

This is the most simple and popular way for the people to respond. But several voices raised against Moody’s including the prime-minister Passos Coelho and the President Cavaco Silva.The Portuguese prime minister reacted saying Moody’s decision was “a punch in the gut“. After that Aníbal Cavaco Silva said decisions by U.S. rating agencies are “a threat to European stability” and considered Moody’s four-notch downgrade of Portuguese sovereign debt Tuesday as “scandalous”.

Moody’s Investors Service cut Portugal‘s sovereign rating to Ba2, which corresponds to “junk” status, Tuesday 5 july, citing the risk of the country needing a second bailout. After that the American rating agency downgraded the rating of four Portuguese banks, several Portuguese companies and even regional and local governments.




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Eduardo Correia

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