So, let me get this straight: a small pack of S&P dudes sitting around a table in a Manhattan office decides that the US government runs the risk of being insolvent at some indeterminate date in the future and thus lowers its credit rating for the first time in history, a move that figured prominently today in the Dow's 600-point plunge?
Is this for real? Can so few really have so much influence?
Apparently so. I recently heard an NPR piece, The Lie that Saved Brazil, about a small group of men charged with turning around Brazil's reeling economy. They managed the feat by basically tricking the populace into believing the nation's currency was worth a damn.
Couldn't these S&P dudes have been similarly insightful? Couldn't they have gotten together with the other dudes at Moody's and Fitch's and said, hey, instead of lowering the rating, why don't we talk about how confident we are in the government's ability to pay its bills? In fact, why we don't we pretend that we're SO confident that we've devised a whole NEW rating: AAAA platinum plus...with sprinkles???
Mightn't that have given markets a shot in the arm? Couldn't the Dow instead have enjoyed a day of robust trading and growth that sent ripples through the entire economy? Couldn't it at least have slowed the bleeding? Who gives a fuck if it's true or not? I mean, aren't these dudes full of shit anyways? Aren't these the dudes who were so careful and precise in their analysis of the government's debt that they bungled their numbers by two trillion? And aren't these the dudes who have been so prophetic in their speculating that they considered no less than Enron to be a sound credit risk, right up to its infamous bloodbath of an end?
Why, dudes, why? Why did you have to choose pessimistic? If had you have no credibility to begin with, why not bullshit us in a way that might help us out of this mess?