The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Our “Negative” Outlook

OK, I’ve read the report from Standard & Poor’s yesterday that said the economic outlook for the U.S. was downgraded from Stable to Negative.  I’ve listened to numerous pundits and read numerous analysis by people I respect.  And, I’ve learned very little that I did not already know.  In summary, here are my thoughts on it:

1.  The S&P believes there is a 1-in-3 possibility we will lose our AAA credit rating in the next few years.
2.  They base this opinion on their judgement of our ability or inability to make political choices.
3.  They are same organization that gave AAA ratings to countless mortgage-backed securities and CDOs.
4.  They may have done us a favor, by splashing cold water on the face of political leaders.
5.  This has happened to other nations, e.g., England and Japan, without losing their credit rating.
6.  And, of course, the stock market used the report to do what it does best, i.e., over-react. 

Their report was certainly an unexpected blockbuster yesterday but was mostly “sound and fury,” signifying what we already know.