Andrew, that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard column had a bunch of important points packed into a short space, not least the notion that nation-states that are members of a multinational currency union should as a rule have a lower credit rating than those with their own currencies. And he's certainly right that all you need to know about rating agencies is that in May 2010 Moody's still rated Greece triple-A.
But it's fascinating to see the Eurocrats' barely veiled threats and outrage at the Big Three raters' essentially post-facto gestures toward a realignment with sanity. As with the ECB's decision to jettison the minimum credit-rating threshold for Portugal, as with the US Treasury's not so subtle hints that Obama can raise the debt ceiling all on his own, the technocrats who manage the western economy seem to have concluded that, if only they're institutionally assertive enough, they can define their own reality. That doesn't seem likely to end well.