In the wake of a tumultuous week on Wall Street, ratings agency Standard & Poor's announced its highly-anticipated ratings for fantastical and/or fictional nations. Godfrey Llewellyn, the managing director of S&P's fictional sovereigns ratings branch, stated that, "Ruled by a Jesus allegory, Narnia has exhibited remarkable resilience in the face of difficult economic times. Like most fictional nations, it also does not deficit spend."
Narnia was predicted by some to receive a downgrade based on its large reliance on US treasuries for capital investments, but unstable markets caused a capital flight directly to T-bills, driving demand for US debt and ensuring Narnia's own ability to repay debts. Also Narnia possesses magical animals.
"They factored into it," said Llewellyn, who placed particular weight on Narnia's griffins.
Narnia joins a list of fictional nations seeing their credit rating affirmed as AAA by S&P as part of what some are describing as a "two-fisted mega-bird thrown at the US government and Treasury." The growing list includes Mordor, Cloud City, Harry Turtledove's version of the Confederacy circa 1944, the alien underwater city from the Abyss and J.K. Rowling's Britain.
Alternate reality versions of the United States fared particularly well, in some cases leaping from AA+ or AA to AAA rating. Fringe's alternate USA, several Sliders versions of the USA, and even the Enterprise version of the USA ruled by alien Nazis all received a significant increase in their rating.
"The Vosk helped the Nazis rule the United States with ruthless efficiency," read the ratings statement from S&P. "We view their opposition to the Temporal Accord as a pro-business policy. GDP growth in Vosk and Nazi-occupied America is hovering at 6%. If only the real America could achieve that sort of economic stability."
Seeing the most severe downgrades (from AA to BBB) was the version of ancient Rome featured in Xena:
Warrior Princess, described by S&P as "not credible at all," and Planet Helghan, which slipped as part of an across-the-board decline in video game credit ratings. Only the Contra reality, which has seen its credit rating go up and down and move horizontally, maintained its BA rating.
Spokesmen for S&P were quick to deny any link between the recent downgrade in the credit rating of the prime reality's USA and the flurry of fictional ratings.
"There is a firewall built into the operations of our independent branches," stated S&P spokeswoman Dagny Galt. "Mr. Llewellyn's AAA evaluation of the credit of the Bug's Life civilization is totally independent from our sovereign ratings for the United States and other nations."
There's no easy way to put this, so I'll tell it like it is. Bouillon is died. He went missing before the weekend and yesterday I found his skeletonized remains at the bottom of the #3 soup vat during one of my swims. I thought the cream of mushroom soup had an especially nourishing taste, and a lot more clumps of fur and skin than usual.
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