These institutions also deserve credit for the fluctuation of the euro in recent years. Whenever they lower the ratings of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece or Spain — the PIIGS countries — the stock and exchange markets in other countries suffer, while hedge funds and other such vultures see this as an opportunity to speculate in these markets, worsening the crisis further.
Taiwan is also a prey to these credit rating institutions.
Take Fitch Ratings, for example. It started to warn Taiwan that its national debt was too high in 2006 and its 2011 financial report clearly stated that Taiwan’s credit rating could be affected if the nation’s financial situation continues to deteriorate.
If and when that day comes, Taiwan’s international isolation would mean that we would have to rely on Chinese assistance.
Recently, the British weekly magazine The Economist advised Obama as he entered his second term that if he wants to leave a positive legacy, he should drastically reduce the US’ national debt. Ma would do well to heed the same advice.
Huang Juei-min is a law professor at Providence University.
Translated by Eddy Chang