How a Wall Street financial house can get bigger than the market

Section:

By Flotsam
China Daily, Beijing
Wednesday, May 25, 2005

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-
05/25/content_445646.htm

The world's worst debtor has the best credit rating possible. How IS
this possible?

When Nixon defaulted on gold payment in 1971, the world was faced
with a dollar standard with absolutely no specie currency backing
it. This was currency supported only based on the faith of the US
government -- faith-based currency! Hallellujah!

But since the advent of the Euro, the dollar has lost one of its
main reasons for people to support it. If Saddam had been allowed to
exercise Iraq's sovereign right to price oil in Euros, America would
have lost another reason. The third reason is the Pentagon, but the
US can bully only small nations. Up against a major power, there
would be no winners.

Now credit agencies have downgraded Ford and GM (by some measures,
America's largest company). Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has
also been downgraded. The excuse is Buffett's age of 74 with his
partner being 81. Berkshire shares are no doubt selling at a premium
because of the duo's performance and replacements for them are not
on the cards.

However, there is another explanation that would bring these
anecdotes together. Since companies rarely have a higher rating than
their host country, the downgrades could well be in preparation for
downgrading the US of A. It certainly wouldn't be before time.

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