Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and China: Different Ratings, Same Fate?

Standard Poor's rates both Japan and Taiwan 'AA' references throughout refer to long-term foreign currency issuer credit ratings. Both ratings have a negative outlook. The Republic of Korea South Korea, referred to here as Korea is rated 'BBB', the People's Republic of China China, 'BBB'. Both of those ratings have a stable outlook.

The single variable that has the most explanatory power for these ratings is per capita GDP. Even adjusting for purchasing power, Japan and Taiwan's per capita GDP would be several multiples of that of China and still materially exceed that of Korea. Yet, as set out in Standard Poor's article on sovereign rating methodology, Sovereign Credit Ratings A...

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