Kill The Messenger

After Standard & Poor downgraded the credit rating of the US, the government announced they were investigating S&P for “improper ratings.”

What a punk-ass move.

They claim the investigation started before the downgrade. I’m guessing that several months ago, somewhere in the bowels of the government, a conversation took place between a few government weasels.

Weasel #1: It’s likely S&P will downgrade our credit rating. We need to be ready for that.

Weasel #2: But how? They’re highly respected in the financial world.

Weasel #3: How about a Justice department investigation?

Weasel #2: Over what? All they’re doing is selling their opinion to willing customers. Even if we disagree, it’s not like they’ve done anything wrong.

Weasel #1: They don’t have to do anything wrong, they just have to be accused of doing something wrong. We’ll get started now, and if they don’t downgrade us we’ll back off. If they do, we’ll wait a couple of weeks and then announce we’ve been investigating them since before the downgrade.

Weasel #2 :But that’s so pathetically transparent. Americans are too stupid to fall for that.

In response Weasels #1 and #3 laughed so hard they peed a little.

This provides another tweak Smartenized people can apply to their bullshit meter. Adjust the creditably of an organization slightly upward if they’re the target of a government investigation.

5 Comment(s)

  1. While I do not like to defend the government, I do not think this is a case of “kill the messenger.” From a purely analytic perspective, the downgrade of US government debt is ridiculous. An opinion shared by Moody’s and Fitch. My question is why the government has not also announced investigations of the other two rating agencies. It could be because an S&P insider has come forward. A Moody’s insider has now also come forward:

    One of the aggravating factors in the meltdown of the financial markets is that the ratings agencies stated that by gathering a lot of small piles of dog crap you get a pot of gold rather than a big pile of dog crap. I suspect that the downgrade of US government debt by S&P was a defensive move. Once the government announced an investigation, S&P could loudly proclaim its innocence and say the government was retaliating.

    Martin | Aug 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. Interesting take, Martin, and a possibility I hadn’t considered.

    Time will tell, probably.

    Hittman | Aug 19, 2011 | Reply

  3. You’re right in saying that “They don’t have to do anything wrong, they just have to be accused of doing something wrong.” It happens when someone is charged with a crime, everyone automatically jumps to the conclusion that the person is guilty, even before the trial has started. Either that or they loudly proclaim their innocence and that all evidence is bullshit. People never seem to acknowledge the middle ground that it may be more complicated than they think.

    GJ203 | Aug 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. What I find hillarious about this whole thing is that it happened within DAYS of Rick Perry’s Super Prayer Rally EXTRAVAGANZA (Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!). Which means according to his own beliefs, God took a look at that big spectacle, when “naaaaaah, I’m going to fucking CRASH that economy instead, BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

    It makes me giggle to think that in the context of his own belief, God hates Rick Perry.

    Brian | Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

  5. Of course, it later came out that S&P was gaming when it changed the rating. Nobody in that mess is clean.

    Fiona Mackenzie | Oct 29, 2011 | Reply

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