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December 5, 2011

S&P could downgrade Euro countries’ credit ratings, because they’re no fun

  • 15 number of European countries S&P put on ”creditwatch negative,” meaning that there’s a 50/50 chance of an upcoming downgrade; all use the Euro as currency
  • two number of countries that didn’t get the Euro which didn’t receive the downgrade — Cyprus (which already is “creditwatch negative”) and Greece (which is Greece) source

» A serious dent in the stock market’s mood: Earlier in the day, things were looking up — France and Germany, the two responsible parents of the region, pushed a new treaty to convince the rest of the region to shape up, and Italy’s Mario Monti made a good impression on investors by introducing a sweeping austerity plan in the country over the weekend — but the S&P decision sucked the life out of the room. It’s not the first time S&P has played the heavy, either.

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19:58 // 2 years ago
September 12, 2011

S&P parent and textbook maven McGraw-Hill to split in two

  • what McGraw-Hill, a company best-known for two things, school textbooks and credit ratings, will be splitting these incongruent halves into two public companies. They’re the parent company of S&P, whose president recently announced his resignation.
  • why The company has taken heat from a couple of activist shareholders in recent months, on top of the heat S&P has taken for lowering the U.S. credit rating and their role in the financial crisis. The company says this plan was already in the cards, though. Suuuure. source

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14:20 // 2 years ago
August 18, 2011

S&P facing Justice Department scrutiny over mortgage securities ratings

  • what The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether S&P kept the credit ratings on certain bonds backed by mortgage debt higher in an effort to protect the company’s business concerns.
  • why See: The financial crisis, which happened in part due to toxic mortgage securities that had inflated credit ratings. S&P’s ratings played a huge role in this whole mess, BTW. source

» And in case you were wondering: This investigation began before S&P lowered the U.S. credit rating, though there’s a good chance it will now be informed by it. Anyway, if you don’t understand the credit ratings issue, here’s a good way to put it: Companies pay the agencies for high ratings.  Kinda like if Warner Bros. paid Roger Ebert to recommend the latest Harry Potter movie. Now imagine if Ebert recommended “Birdemic" based on his financial interests. This would be extremely unethical behavior for journalists. But did S&P do something like that?

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11:22 // 3 years ago
August 16, 2011
Fitch isn’t like S&P: Unlike the brouhaha about S&P downgrading the U.S. credit rating, our friends at Fitch aren’t going to rock the boat … well, unless Fitch decides to get in bed with Abercrombie again. Then we’re in trouble.

Fitch isn’t like S&P: Unlike the brouhaha about S&P downgrading the U.S. credit rating, our friends at Fitch aren’t going to rock the boat … well, unless Fitch decides to get in bed with Abercrombie again. Then we’re in trouble.

9:45 // 3 years ago
August 9, 2011
10:59 // 3 years ago
August 8, 2011
In case you guys thought the downgrade-a-palooza was over … oh oh oh! You are mistaken, my friends. Fannie, Freddie, your massive sinkholes will feel the pain too, because S&P apparently wants to ensure we heard them the first time.

In case you guys thought the downgrade-a-palooza was over … oh oh oh! You are mistaken, my friends. Fannie, Freddie, your massive sinkholes will feel the pain too, because S&P apparently wants to ensure we heard them the first time.

10:29 // 3 years ago
August 6, 2011
Hey, CNN, you’re above this. This credit rating thing is a serious issue. While the adults in the room are concerned about their future, you’re running articles about how funny it is that “AA+” sounds like something you might see on a battery, or a bra size. Leave the jokes to Twitter or Mashable, or someone besides you. EDIT: If they’re not above this, they should be.

Hey, CNN, you’re above this. This credit rating thing is a serious issue. While the adults in the room are concerned about their future, you’re running articles about how funny it is that “AA+” sounds like something you might see on a battery, or a bra size. Leave the jokes to Twitter or Mashable, or someone besides you. EDIT: If they’re not above this, they should be.

16:01 // 3 years ago

2012 candidates’ takes on the S&P credit rating downgrade

  • Mitt romney “Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprece­dented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating. Today, President Obama promised that ‘things will get better.’ But it has become increasingly clear that the only way things will get better is with new leadership in the White House.”
  • Jon Huntsman “Out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership in Washington have resulted in President Obama presiding over the first downgrade of the United States credit rating in our history. For far too long we have let reckless government spending go unchecked and the cancerous debt afflicting our nation has spread. We need new leadership in Washington committed to fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, and job-friendly policies to get America working again.”
  • Michele Bachmann “This President has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through his failed economic policies and his inability to control government spending by raising the debt ceiling. … President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time. I call on the President to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and to submit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.” source

» One note on the Bachmann one: You’ll note that if you read the full document, it specifically blames Republican policies — largely their unwillingness to raise revenue by raising taxes — for the downgrade. Yes, there is too much debt. Yes, it needs to be dealt with. But if the GOP can’t give an inch on taxes, then these words don’t hold water.

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12:49 // 3 years ago
August 5, 2011

whyarethegoodurlsalreadytaken says: I'm a bit confused with this ratings downgrade. Now that we were bumped down, what exactly does it mean? How will it (or will it at all) change our day to day lives as Americans?

» SFB says: To put it simply, it’s going to become harder to borrow. Interest rates will go up, mortgages and loans will become harder to get, and you might feel it in your own credit rating. That sucks.

22:09 // 3 years ago
In short, S&P is just making stuff up — and after the mortgage debacle, they really don’t have that right. So this is an outrage — not because America is A-OK, but because these people are in no position to pass judgment.
Paul Krugman’s take on the credit-rating downgrade. Simply put, he thinks they’re douchenozzles who downgraded the credit rating despite some crappy math.
21:47 // 3 years ago