Italy Puts Rating Agencies on Trial

An Italian court indicted officials from ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch on Tuesday over accusations of market manipulation related to cuts to Italy’s sovereign debt ratings during the euro zone debt crisis in 2011 and 2012.

A court in the small southern city of Trani also indicted the two companies for their legal liability in the case through the actions of their employees.

The trial is due to start on Feb. 4, 2015.

The judge ordered five current and former employees of Standard & Poor’s and one from Fitch to stand trial over accusations that sensitive reports were released during trading hours, causing heavy losses on stock and bond markets.

S&P said in a statement the allegations were “completely unfounded and unsupported by any evidence”.

Fitch added in a separate note that it disagreed with the judge’s decision and was confident that the agency and its officials would be exonerated as the proceedings continue.

The investigation initially also included the third major ratings agency, Moody’s, but prosecutors later dropped the case against it.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza