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"Apparently we're supposed to care about what some idiots at some corrupt organization think about anything."
[In November 2009] "Ten months after launching an investigation, the European Commission formally charged Standard & Poor’s with abusing its position as the sole provider of international securities identification codes for U.S. securities by requiring European financial firms and data vendors to pay licensing fees for their use. “This behavior amounts to unfair pricing,” the European Commission said in its statement of objections which lays the groundwork for an adverse finding against S&P. “The (numbers) are indispensable for a number of operations that financial institutions carry out – for instance, reporting to authorities or clearing and settlement – and cannot be substituted."
--Securities Technology Monitor (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Who is Standard & Poor’s to tell America how much debt it has to shed in order to keep its credit rating? Why, it's the company that Wall Street firms pay bribes to in order to obtain their own AAA credit ratings.
Robert Reich's opinion is here.
##Footnote: See also this note from David Atkins, at Digby's place:
"A downgrade in U.S. debt means functionally that U.S. treasury bills are, in S&P’s oh-so-wise opinion, less trustworthy and a greater credit risk to investors. This comes only a day after investors fled the DOW and S&P500 into the safe and waiting hands of…you guessed it: U.S. treasuries. The same treasuries that S&P suddenly finds a more dangerous buy. So what does that say about the stock market, and the S&P500? Perhaps S&P might wish to re-evaluate the credibility of its own market index."