But—perhaps for the first time in the history of credit ratings agencies—this cynicism is misplaced. Moody's already gives Berkshire a long term rating of Aa2—which is the equivalent of the double A without a plus from S&P. In other words, Moody's already had a slightly more negative view of Berkshire than S&P did until Thursday morning. Now they agree.
If the notion that some action by a ratings agency may not be corrupt is too novel to bear, you may take some comfort in the fact that S&P also clipped a "negative outlook" onto its diminished rating. Moody's outlook is "stable." Unfortunately for the cause of cynicism, no one has ever discovered a specimen of investor who would pay even a wooden nickel for the "outlook" of either Moody's or S&P.
_By CNBC's John Carney; Follow him on Twitter @Carney