From an interview in 1996...
DAVID GERGEN: So you have to be--there are two superpowers, I think, you say.
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: That's right. There are two superpowers in the world today in my opinion. There's the United States and there's Moody's Bond Rating Service. The United States can destroy you by dropping bombs, and Moody's can destroy you by downgrading your bonds. And believe me, it's not clear sometimes who's more powerful.