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Colombia: Walking the walk

A country’s credit rating can have unusual ramifications, as an anecdote from the hugely quotable former Colombian finance minister Juan Carlos Echeverry makes clear. His finance team was on a roadshow for an international bond issue when the news came through that Colombia had received its first investment-grade rating.

At the end of the day, the Colombian delegation headed out into Boston in search of refreshment. As they walked into town, they began to cross a quiet street some distance from the official crossing point. "Hey, what are you doing?" one of the team shouted at his colleagues. "We can’t jaywalk. We’re investment grade now. We have to act like it."

Suitably admonished, the Colombians walked down the street and crossed at the traffic lights.