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Dear Standard & Poor’s, Will The Beatings Ever Stop?

Bobby Gill | August 8, 2011

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you.  Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”

– George W. Bush

Right now in some Cracker Barrel deep within the suburban countryside of Dallas, George W Bush stews. That big pile of okra he was dreaming about all day, well that’s going to go cold tonight. Laura knows he won’t be able to attend to his beets, and she is sure tonight wont be the night he finally cracks the 4-peg barrier in the table top Peg Game . And how could he? We all done got fooled again.

Well, Dubya isn’t alone in his anger, I am fuming. Believe me when I say I gave a serious finger wagging to the Standard & Poor’s web site last night. And why shouldn’t I?  S&P pulled one straight out of O.J. Simpson’s playbook: just 3 years after giving us a $1 trillion prolapse, S&P has come right back and slapped us across the face with a large, MIRC-eqsue trout .

The craziest thing about S&P cutting the U.S. government’s debt rating isn’t so much that they did it, but rather that anyone still cares to listen. This is the same S&P,that along with Fitch,and Moody’s attached AAA- credit ratings to anything up to and including the financial equivalent of pieces of shit . Well now, S&P has stripped away this badge of fecal financial pride from us:

Through trusted sources, I’ve learned that S&P’s mailroom actually ran out those AAA stickers, and there was a Tijuana municipal bond issue that needed one asap.

I wonder what S&P’s real beef with us is? You’d think that whomever was running the lemmings in that place would just tip-toe the fuck out of the country after 2008.  Its fun to slap bankers around over the ‘unfortunate credit incident’ , but you can’t help feel a little sorry for them when the only 3 letters in a S&P credit analyst’s vocabulary were ‘A’, ‘A’, and ‘A’.

Out of that old chestnut known as the ‘global economic meltdown’, we caught Angelo Mozilo , the SEC and Bernie Madoff all with their dicks buried firmly in the proverbial pie.  We celebrated when the media then led Goldman Sachs  out to the back of the wood shed for a not-so private whipping. But where’s the bitch-slappage for S&P, Moody’s and Fitch?

These clowns were slapping on AAA-credit ratings so quickly you’d think it was 4pm at the local Chiquita factory. As much as everybody took turns fucking the football when it came to valuing real estate debt, at least most of them can say it wasn’t their job to know this stuff.

S&P though? not so much.  I have to think there were at least a couple of really awkward moments in more than a few S&P employee performance reviews that year. But I bet that pales in comparison to the nervous introductions at the 2009 annual ‘S&P Does Habitat For Humanity’ event .

And after all this,  with the absurdity of a twice-rebooted comic franchise , S&P has come back and delivered a steel boot to our collective scrotum. What’s worse is that the SEC, Treasury and the rest of the financial world still listens to these jokers . I’d trust a bond-rating from S&P like I would a plane ticket to Pakistan.

Something is not right with S&P. McGraw-Hill owns them, and you wouldn’t be the first to double-take hearing that. McGraw-Hill used to print my Grade 9 biology book, and I am pretty sure that textbooks are a McGraw-Hill core competency.  Maybe it’s a ‘Big Paper’ conspiracy. Create enough chaos, and you’ll sell more textbooks full of history.

We all know the U.S. is going broke. This news isn’t exactly bombs over Baghdad . I also don’t think any bond traders are walking to their Bloombergs this morning thinking “wow that Medicare bit S&P mentioned really took me by surprise!”

If there is any hope for us, let it rest in the market. This whole S&P downgrade is as academic as it is ridiculous. The invisible hands that guide along the  bids and asks of the sovereign debt markets, well I hope they all laughed like I did when they heard the news. S&P, Moody’s or Fitch sharing their recommendations on credit should carry the same weight as pilates tips from Wilford Brimley.

Which weapon will S&P use on us next? Please not the sheep .

I do hope that whomever at S&P carries this beef with America has finally slayed their blood lust. Never mind the threat from Al Qaeda or any of its branded subsidiaries, I don’t think we can handle any more beat downs at the hands of the McGraw-Hill Group of Companies.

Deven Sharma – President of S&P. No doubt a beacon of pride in the Indian community. It’s a shame he’s running the equivalent of a 4pm strip club buffet.

Yours in love,


Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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