Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has today warned newly discovered planet Kepler 22-b that it may downgrade its AAA credit rating to AA if it fails to put appropriate measures in place to kickstart its flagging economy.
Scientists and economists had initially been excited by the discovery of the planet, thought to have similar life-supporting conditions to Earth. However, further research has shown that it also has similar economic conditions, with high levels of unemployment, soaring levels of national debt and first-time buyers and small businesses struggling to obtain finance.
'This got our hopes up for a while' grumbled German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 'We were all set to ask Kepler 22-b to join China in contributing to the Eurozone bail-out fund, but now we've found out they're in just as much of a mess as us there's no point.'
The markets reacted badly to S&P's announcment, with the Kepler 22-b 100 losing 164 points in the first light year of trading today. 'Unless they approve a programme of austerity measures quickly they may have to default on their debts and effectively become bankrupt' explained the BBC's Robert Peston. 'That could see them having to leave the Euro, which they haven't even joined yet.'
However, politicians around the world remain hopeful that a planet may exist somewhere in the Milky Way that is capable of sustaining a thriving capitalist economy. 'Surely there must be one out there somewhere that can lend us the billions of dollars we need to bail us all out' said US President Barack Obama, 'and until we find it we'll continue to pump billions of dollars into finding it.'