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What We Read Today 04 February 2015

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

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Standard & Poor's hit by largest penalty ever levied on credit rating agency (Andrew Dewson, The Independent)  McGraw Hill Financial, the parent of Standard & Poor's (S&P) has agreed to pay a settlement equal to its 2014 profits.  S&P, the world’s largest debt-rating agency, was accused of manipulating its internal procedures in order to create better ratings for packages of sub-prime mortgage securities.  S&P fought hard to avoid the large payment of $1.4 billion they have agreed to pay, but was undone by internal instant messages and e-mails which supported the Department of Justice case.  Econintersect:  Nowhere in the discussion of this case is there a mention of the financial and economic losses that resulted from the S&P actions.  We hazard a guess that it is closer to $1 trillion than to $1 billion. 


From First FT (FT Alphaville)  More on Greece follows below.

Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will meet Mario Draghi today with the hope of persuading him to maintain liquidity in Greece’s banking sector after the country’s EU bailout programme expires at the end of this month. (FT)

The European Central Bank is already resisting Greece’s proposal that Athens raise EUR10bn by issuing short-term Treasury bills as “bridge financing” to tide the country over for the next three months while a new bailout is negotiated. Without this financing, Athens will exit its bailout without access to emergency funding for the first time since the first Greek bailout in May 2010. (FT)

Martin Wolf argues that the Greek government deserves the time to present its ideas and, as the EU is supposed to be a union of democracies and not an empire, the eurozone should negotiate in good faith. At the same time, the Greeks must convince their partners they are serious about reforms. (FT)



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