Fitch downgrades Hungary

Turns out that whole pension-grabbing incident in Budapest a few weeks back hasn’t gone down too well abroad. The government claims that seizing private pension funds is designed to improve the country’s fiscal position. The bean counters can fight somewhere else if it’s not just papering over some structural cracks. But the foreign markets Hungary relies on so heavily for funding simply were about as impressed with the pension fund raid as they were by strange Central Bank meddling and costly bank levies.

So now, Fitch has joined Moody’s and S&P by parking the country’s credit rating one step above junk at BBB-.  The year isn’t exactly ending on an upbeat note for Hungary’s government. But at least it has the first half of 2011 to look forward to, since it will be assuming the presidency of Europe. Let’s just say we doubt it will be entirely devoid of incident…


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