« | »

NYT Attacks Standard & Poor’s Credibility

From Mr. Obama’s ever dependable attack dogs at the New York Times:

Behind S.&P.’s Downgrade, a Committee That Acts in Private

August 8, 2011

A committee of about a half-dozen largely unknown people made a decision last Friday that has roiled Washington and Wall Street.

That committee operates deep inside Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency that downgraded United States debt for the first time in history. Despite the great interest in the agency’s decision, it has remained tight-lipped on what happened in its deliberations.

The individuals most responsible for the decision are not well known, except to finance ministers. S.& P. has declined to say whether the vote was unanimous, to identify all the members of the committee that voted for the downgrade or even say how many people are on it.

We need to know who these people are and where they live, so the SEIU can send busloads of goons to ‘protest’ in their front yards.

S.& P.’s downgrade of the nation’s credit rating has raised questions about the company’s judgment and even its role in the financial markets.

Funny, but the New York Times and the rest of the media didn’t question S&P’s judgment when they were using them to stampede the Republicans into raising the debt ceiling to avoid a downgrade.

It has also reinvigorated critics of the rating agencies, who have argued since the 2008 financial crisis that the power of S.& .P and other agencies — which failed to foresee the problems with mortgage-related securities — should be reduced.

In fact, the power — and income — of these agencies have already been drastically reduced by last year’s Dodd-Franks ‘reform’ legislation. But Dodd-Frank hasn’t kicked in soon enough or hard enough to please The Times. (See below.)

S.& P., for its part, has defended its decision but has stayed quiet about its internal deliberations. There is no rater of the raters.

Except, Congress, and non-partisan economists like Barney Frank.

When asked whether the company’s raters were hiding behind the secretive committee, Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for S.& P., said, “We do this to maintain our analytical independence in much the same way that the editorial board of The New York Times does not discuss its deliberations.” Ms. Mathis was a spokeswoman for The Times until two years ago

Good one! (Though it is a little troubling to think that someone with a background like hers would be in a position of responsibility at a firm that can affect our lives.)

The three people who have been associated with the decision are David Beers, the head of the company’s entire sovereign ratings division; his deputy, John Chambers; and Nikola Swann, an analyst who is responsible for ratings in the United States, Canada and Bermuda

The Times is painting a nice big target on these three men’s backs.

The three men and, to a degree, all their peers have since become heroes to some and traitors to others.

Minutes after the downgrade, for instance, Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, called them incompetent

This would be the same Barney Frank who repeatedly insisted during the height of the housing crisis that the soundness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could not even be questioned. (His then boyfriend at Fannie Mae had told him so, apparently.)

The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill passed last year, named in part after Mr. Frank, included some measures to unravel some of the government’s emphasis on ratings in its rules for banks, mutual funds and other financial entities. Those rules have not all been put into effect.

But just wait until Mr. Frank and his pals get their hands completely around the throats of these credit rating agencies. Then you will see accurate credit ratings. ‘Political credit.’

It is possible that the furor over S.& P.’s decision might persuade lawmakers to consider more laws to change the ratings companies or to even spur competition through start-ups

Yep. This is the Democrats’ solution whenever they don’t get their way. Change the rules. And, at the very least, get enough power of an agency so that you can call the shots.

By the way, here is another article from yesterday’s New York Times: ‘Why S.&P.’s Ratings Are Substandard and Porous.’

They sure are subtle, aren’t they?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “NYT Attacks Standard & Poor’s Credibility”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    NYT Attacks Standard & Poor’s Credibility ….. for what? Being able to arrive at the correct answer to a mathematical formula that’s been in use for decades?

    Being able to use math correctly is now a political crime????

  2. tranquil.night says:

    The argument is that S&P isn’t credible because they missed/ignored the subprime crisis. So they say the obvious this time around, and get lampooned for it.

    Internal polling must show labelling this the “Tea Party Terrorist’s Recession” not turning up hot numbers. Got to find another messenger to shoot: a Democrat friendly financial behemoth is a much more populist target.

    Everything good that happens, why that’s a direct result of the Bamster!

    – Kill Osama? All O-rambo.
    – Lose 25 SEALs to an rpg in a likely unnecessary and ill-defined mission? Bad luck and an unfortunate consequence of (Boosh’s) war.

    – Market rebounds 150+ points or phony, rigged employment numbers show a fake jump of 5000 more new jobs? Obama Recovery’s in full swing baby. We are about to see 18 months of uninterrupted prosperity!
    – Tea Party says we’re spending too much and we’re not going to pay more taxes for it, then professional analysts basically validate that conclusion? Racists! Hostage-takers! Evil greedy rich Hobbits are trying to take down the country!

    It’s good to be King.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      The one and only obvious answer is that Bush is controlling S&P at this point. Bush has been living “rent free” in the socialists’ heads for quite some time now and regardless of reality, we must wake up to the fact that everything bad is Bush’s fault. Anything good is the result of a sensitive and caring democrat if not Captain Zero himself.

      OK, that’s my feeble attempt at sarcasm today. I’m really pretty infuriated over the mess and what appears to be a downward spiral in normal human behavior. I knew riots were coming….and I know who’s responsible….but the blame goes back several decades with the creation of the welfare state. Why, as early as the 1980’s I was reading stories of kids graduating from secondary education and going right onto the dole in Great Britain. Not so different here, except they don’t graduate from high school.

      But here we sit in a lukewarm puddle of the socialist’s making and they, of course want to blame anyone but themselves. If I can easily put my finger on policy creation and the way the money was spent for the last 40 years, I can easily paint a picture of the growing leviathan that is the welfare state and the destruction of the notions of personal responsibility and accountability.

      It makes me sad.

  3. proreason says:


    The Slimes is a criminal organization. Their main point doesn’t have anything to do with the downgrade. It’s an Alinsky tactic to smear the people who stand in your way.

    But, I do agree that S&P has no credibility, and that the downgrade is spurious, at best.

    I think they should state whether their ratings are against a fixed target of perfection, or whether their ratings are against other bond issuers. If the downgrade is because the US has declined in credit-worthiness against a fixed target, then they are correct. But if the ratings are against the competition, then the downgrade is silly. The US is still the most credit-worthy entity in the world. Even with the Marxist in charge, we are easily the safest haven in the world. Now, if he is reelected….run for the hills.

    However, I’m happy that the downgrade happened. It’s another data point indicating that the Marxist is full-on destroying this country. And in addition, his perpetually adolescent attempts to blame everything on anybody else is one more demonstration that these people are con artists.

    I keep hoping that all of these clues for duh people will add up to something significant. But I also worry that their approach of buying elections is still one that could work.

  4. untrainable says:

    This is the beginning of a campaign to make sure that the other rating agencies don’t do the same. Once the identities of the committee members are made public and their homes and families are made to pay for what they’ve done to interfere with the socialization of America, who would dare downgrade America?

    The terror tacticians of the left are beginning to throw back the curtain and openly threaten anyone who gets in their way. Moody’s has given America a AAA rating, but with a negative outlook and the threat of a downgrade. I think watching the people at S&P having their lives ruined via SEIU mob rule will make them think twice. This is how democracy falls, to thunderous rioting lefty weasels (forgive the paraphrase).

    And please… feigned outrage because decisions of the rating agency are made behind closed doors? Let’s see similar outrage over Obie’s democrat only secret meetings that affect every single American.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »