There will be much recrimination today about the move to downgrade the British governments 'AAA' credit rating to an AA1 status - but I think it is a good time to downgrade our assessment of companies like Moody's.
Since 1909 Moody's has been making these assessments, firstly on railway investments in the US, then soon into the rest of the world. It has always played a political role in its work, not a neutral role as it like to portray. Socialist countries that don't obey the rules of the neo-liberal world view that the big three credit rating companies hold, are viciously downgraded, making it much harder for them to compete internationally.
But even when countries are doing what Moody's want them to do, such as in Osborn's Britain, if they are seen to be failing, or wavering in their neo-liberal approach, the credit ratings companies will happily give them a kicking. Obama was seen as being too socially orientated, so the US was downgraded. France began to lean to the left, so they got knocked back last year. Cameron looked like he might weaken his austerity approach as we get closer to the next election - so Moody's are happy to remind him which direction his economic policy should be going.
These companies are designed to aid the multi-millionaires who make their money speculating (betting) on the international financial markets. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
We shouldn't simply ignore them (they got the subprime market in the States so wrong, they nearly tripped up the entire global economy) - we need to understand the political nature of these parasites, and hound them out of of the economic equation. We cannot allow them to give Osborn and his chums any more reasons to be more vicious than they already are.