Anton Siluanov's words could have been understood as a battle cry against the West: "We want ratings to be apolitical," the Russian finance minister said. He directed his frustration squarely at the leaders in the rating agency world: Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch. A new Russian-Chinese credit rating agency could counter the three most influential rating agencies, all based out of the US. This would provide for balance and fairer ratings - in theory.
But experts are skeptical that a rating agency based on collaboration between Russia and China could guarantee more transparency. "It makes no sense," said financial economist Rudolf Hickel. He sees the coalition as a reaction to closer economic cooperation between the US and Europe, for example in a potential free trade agreement.Of course, the recent down-grading of Russian bonds might have something to do with this. And, this agency won't be part of a cartel created by U.S. Congress--as Fitch, Moody's and S&P are--with a Seal of Approval that mandates that financial institutions rely on their ratings.