Nor were the country ratings much better: S&P's 'investment-grade' endorsements of bankrupt Greece survived well into 2010. The role of the credit rating agencies was under critical review well before the 2008 crisis but no satisfactory answer has yet been found for their undue influence and they are still accorded a role in the Basel prudential supervision arrangements.
In our opinion, however, the risks associated with Australia's high private-sector external debt are manageable because of the strength of the country's financial system, the high degree of foreign currency debt hedging, and an actively traded currency that historically has allowed external imbalances to adjust.
The S&P press release begins by noting "the country's strong public policy settings, economic resilience, and significant fiscal and monetary policy flexibility" as well as its 'strong ability to absorb large economic and financial shocks, as was demonstrated during the global recession in 2009.
Read more here: Business Spectator