YET again, for the private profit-making American ratings agencies which have set themselves up as judges of international finance despite their lack of status and erratic predictions in the past. On Friday Standard & Poor's took one of France's triple-A ratings away and downgraded the standing of nine other euro-zone countries, among them Spain. The euro fell to a 16 month low against the dollar. S&P and two other agencies seem to be playing politics when they have neither the resources nor the authority to do so. They should stop.

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