OPINION

Strange currencies

In the mid-20th century, global economic power was symbolized by the ?Seven Sisters? — a term coined to describe the seven oil companies which came to dominate more than 80 percent of the world?s oil deposits. Their violent intrusion into international politics inspired numerous studies, novels and films. That was until members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began to gradually regain their strength. And in a display of force in 1973 following the Arab-Israeli War, they implemented an oil embargo that threw the West into recession.

These days, global economic power is symbolized by the three main credit rating agencies. The assessments by Standard