Senate Probing S&P Downgrade

Tyler Durden's picture

If anyone thought that the Congressional subpoena of Meredith Whitney was taking it too far, you ain't seen nothing yet. According to flashing headlines, the idiots in the Senate now have S&P firmly set in their sights. Reuters adds that, "the Senate Banking committee has begun probing last week's decision by Standard and Poor's to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, a committee aide told Reuters on Monday. The aide said the panel was gathering information about the S&P move but no decision had been made on whether it will hold hearings into the downgrade. But, the aide added, all options were being weighed." At least this action did not involve the Feds and a SWAT team breaking into the company's headquarters unlike a comparable escalation in Italy. We are currently conducting a Lexis-Nexus search to find when the last time that a rating agency upgrade of a nation resulted in the type of prosecution which the glaringly terrorist and racist S&P (in the US) and S&P and Moody's (in Italy) are subjected to currently. We will be sure to bring you the results as soon as have them. We are confident the search will be very, very fruitful. In the meantime, keep an eye on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. The face below may soon be staring at you from it. And if not, Deven Sharma should prepare for a lifetime of body cavity searches courtesy of the TSA.

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NotApplicable's picture

Squeezin' the Sharma?

andybev01's picture

Thou shalt not speak the states name in vain.

Libertarians for Prosperity's picture

S&P analysts should be paid from a pool of money which is invested in S&P's various recommendations.  Maybe they could be given a minimal, industry-standard salary, but the bulk of their income should be dependent on the accuracy and competency of their own ratings.

Isn't that how the real world works anyway?  Pay-based performance?

This way, they could rotate their own income out of US treasuries and into BofA equity, which is currently rated the highest recommendation S&P offers. 

Without some skin in the game, there really is no point to their ratings.  Even that, though, isn't any justification for their existence.  Investors and fund managers should do their own due diligence, rather than relying on some junior varsity ratings agency that's so utterly incompetent they completely missed the entire financial crisis.

Thomas's picture

I would love to testify in front of Congress as to why I downgraded US debt. I would create some viral Youtube footage.

tom a taxpayer's picture

If the downgrade fits, you must acquit.

Widowmaker's picture

Ha ha!

I remember shaking JC's hand one time.

His diversion strategy with Simpson was brilliant.

Rick64's picture

Senate probings, well I know Barney must be excited.

drbill's picture

That statement makes me queasy on several different levels!

knukles's picture

Here's the deal, Senator.  I downgraded your bonds and the fucking prices went up.  And you're asking me questions?

StychoKiller's picture

What the Senate should be "probing" is:  WHY haven't Moody's and Fitch downgraded the US Govt as well?

sgorem's picture

They should've been investigating back in 2007-'08 when the S&P DIDN'T DOWNGRADE THE BASTARDS! FUCKING HANG THE SENATE, THE HOUSE, AND THE REST OF THE FUCKING CROOKS IN DC, from all the DC lamp posts!! WE need to import some of that LONDON shit here......hopefully, it's coming..........

DrunkenMonkey's picture

You want to import gangs of feral immigrant father-less youth that have been raised on a diet of bullsh*t (mainly-US sourced) music videos, the mantra of individualism and 'rights, not duties' rhetoric ? Be my guest.

oogs66's picture

this is ridiculous....truly ridiculous...couldn't be our fault, has to be the rating agency fault?

markmotive's picture

Typical, desperate self-preservation.

redpill's picture

This downgrade nonsense simply won't do. They will make an example out of S&P.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

This exchange took place on October 24, 2011 during hearings held by the Senate Committee on Increasing Irrelevancy:

Senator Dick Drippinz (RD - Pennsyltucky): Mr. Sharma, the S&P report on the downgrade to AA+ indicates that one of the factors involved in this decision was, and I quote, "the advanced stage of political douchebaggery on Capitol Hill." It's easy for people to sling mud without understanding the difficult work done by the honorable members of this august institution. For the record, can you cite a specific example of this so-called douchebaggery?

Mr. Deven Sharma, S&P: The first thing that comes to mind is this very hearing.


happel's picture

More finger-pointing. Nothing new here.

Mister Ponzi's picture

I remember when S&P (or was it Moody's?) downgraded Japan, the head of the rating company and the responsible analyst had to appear in front of a parliamentary committee and answer questions like: "What the hell did you think downgrading our country to the level of Botswana???"

tom a taxpayer's picture


Yes, but it is a Frankenstein monster, not a horse let loose. One reason S&P has the balls to downgrade the U.S. govt is that the U.S. did not have the balls to prosecute S&P for its role in the greatest financial crimes in U.S. history. 

Now, by downgrading the U.S., the S&P can simultaneously 1) distinguish itself from Moody's as a marketing tactic, and 2) have an excellent defense to any prosecution for alleged past crimes by claiming that prosecution is retribution for the downgrade. 

The govt allowed S&P to grow into a Frankenstein monster. "It's alive!"


Jasper M's picture

That's . . . actually, pretty astute! Congrats.

PaperBugsBurn's picture

I don't understand why you folks don't see what's obvious as hell to me.


S&P are the banksters. This is why there was no prosecution in 08. The banksters do not want to risk their lucrative investments in the rest of the world by forcing QE3 on a rebellious world. They really do want medicare, medicaid, social security and every other social safety net cut so they can maintain the dollar's status. the politicians know that if they comply they are out of a cushy job. They are showing the US gov that they are prepared to go the SDR route if need be. The US market is kaput for them with no future growth potential (because they de-industrialized you).


Am I the only one who sees this or what??

i-dog's picture

"Am I the only one who sees this or what??"

Sees what? The glaring contradictions in your analysis?

First you say the banksters want cuts to benefits [BTW: No, they don't! ... they want to bankrupt the country (in order to call in the collateral - American serfs and their encumbered property) ... their core investments are now elsewhere]:

"They really do want medicare, medicaid, social security and every other social safety net cut so they can maintain the dollar's status."

Then you say [correctly]:

"The US market is kaput for them with no future growth potential (because they de-industrialized you)."

The bankstas aren't "showing" the US an SDR "if need be" ... they are planning on an SDR as soon as the USD crashes (which they are currently trying to delay into next year ... when all their other ducks should be in a row).

Kayman's picture

Too clever by half. The U.S. government was mute before, now they've been outed and are claiming it is S+P's fault.

To paraphrase ol' Warren. Give the guy a Quintuple A rating for effort. 

b_thunder's picture

Congress shoudl simply remove special privileges and let the holders of "AAA" rated CDOs to sue S&P for malpractice!    S&P woudl disappear before and of the month, maybe before the and of the week!


yabyum's picture

If anything the S&P was to kind. We suck! Time for some new faces in DC.

fuu's picture

I read that as feces.

Mec-sick-o's picture

A very comprehensible Freudian Slip.

max2205's picture

He isn't white or an American. These rating agencies, whewww.

Catullus's picture

Give them the Meredith Witney treatment: hit the ignore button. 

lolmao500's picture

Just figured out why the US still has 55 000 troops in Germany... it's to protect the German government from the German people... I mean, Germans are gonna be pissed when they see their government has pledged 133% of their GDP to backstop Euro debt... and when it all fails and they try to overthrow the German government, the US troops will be there to save ``democracy`` once again!


Next on the US government agenda : kidnap the SP CEO kids at school for a few hours and then give them back... so he understands the message.

President Palin's picture

But ... but ... the Teleprompter-In-Chief told me that the USSA will always be AAA!

Flakmeister's picture

And that sums up Sarah's understanding of the situation....

-Michelle-'s picture

Well, no, I'd say that sums up Obama's understanding of the situation.

Flakmeister's picture

The comments here are hilarious, any dig at an idiot such as Palin is taken as a knee-jerk defense of Obama. No fucking wonder this country is as fucked as it is...Go educate yourself about how we got here in the first place...

Obama is a failure, anyone elected after the financial coup d'etat that was TARP was doomed to be a failure. The only thing that I could say in defense of Obama is that if McCain and that fucking twerp from Wasilla were elected the country would be in an even bigger mess.

-Michelle-'s picture

I would back up a bit and see what your own knee-jerk response was to a comment about Obama. I don't want either of them.

Flakmeister's picture

If it was one where I called out somebody for calling him a Marxist ideologue, I stand by my statement that he is many things, but a Marxist ain't one of them.

You can bitch and moan about O all you like, just get your rhetoric straight. As for Palin, she makes W seem downright erudite.

-Michelle-'s picture

I was referring to your post at 17:18, just a few notches up.

I neither bitch nor moan about Obama. What would be the point? I just want all of them to leave me and my family alone.

As for Palin, the only one talking about her is... you.

Flakmeister's picture

For the humor impaired...

I suggest you make the connection between the poster "President Palin" and my comment.. Jeezus...

adissidentishere's picture

In what way is he not a marxist? 

Flakmeister's picture

Well, for one he didn't line up the Banksters and have them shot.... He caved in on a single payer option, he has done nothing to limit the corporate influence in politics.... On most, if not all his policies he is well to the right of Eisenhower, (ok, Ike didn't have to deal with Don't Ask, Don't Tell). He folded like a cheap suit on the Bush tax cuts and debt ceiling negotiations.... Call him a moderate corporate fascist... he ain't even a socialist. 

Nascent_Variable's picture

The federal government is an absolutely despicable entity, all the way from the top down.

user2011's picture

Two parties play the game of chicken, and now got blamed as one of the reason for the downgrade. 

The whole world is pissed.   With Trillions gone in the stock market, these scumbag lawmakers are now trying to blame the agency and punish them.  

Bunch of crooks !!  

faustian bargain's picture

Their desperation is delicious.

nmewn's picture

Yes, it is. I like mine ice cold.

unky's picture

Bullshit, this was a set up. Wall Street, Rating Agencys, Corrupt government officials and the Fed are all working together.

Just to show something to the public...