Downgrades: A Necessary Evil? 22 June 2016

On Wednesday 22nd June, The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘Downgrade: A Necessary Evil?’. The guest speakers at the event included Professor Stan du Plessis (Dean of EMS Faculty and Professor- Economics Department, US), Dr Conrad Beyers (Researcher and Lecturer, UP), and Dr Jeff Rudin (Research Associate, AIDC).

The discussion centred South Africa’s recent rating agencies debacle, where three of the world’s top rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard and Poor and Fitch decided against downgrading South Africa to junk status. South Africa’s economy is currently rated just above junk status with a BBB from S&P and Fitch and a Baa from Moody’s. Some of the issues discussed included how rating agencies come to their decision-making process, in other words, opening up the ‘black box’. While other issues raised questioned the impact these rating agencies have on the economy during their decision-making process, as well as how rating agencies final decision affects the poor.

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