The connection just occurred to me as we are discussing whether or not the Obama administration is practicing press intimidation.
It was the headline story on the front page of the February 5, 2013 Wall Street Journal: “U.S. to Sue S&P Over Ratings.” Basically, what the government is saying is that it didn’t like Standard & Poors’ opinions in connection with ratings of collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs.
Not enough has been made of this story. Clearly Standard & Poors understands that it is being singled out, not because of any supposed role in the financial crisis, but because it downgraded the credit rating of the Obama administration. (Yes, I know it was a downgrade of the U.S. government, but it was taken personally at the time by Obama, and Jay Carney criticized them for the action.)
It is being singled out, much as Gibson Guitars were singled out in that scandal. Gibson Guitars, who had donated to Republicans, were prosecuted based on a strained interpretation of a statute, and for the same practices that everyone else in the guitar manufacturing business is doing in using imported woods. It’s the same with the S&P case. The Wall Street Journal mentions that the CDOs under scrutiny were given the same high ratings from S&P’s rivals. A follow-up AP story published Feb. 13 said, “It is not clear why the government charged only S&P or whether it will file charges against Fitch and Moody’s.” Duh – not too hard to figure out. The rivals didn’t downgrade the Obama Administration’s credit rating. But I guess it’s okay in polite society to be a thug, but very impolite to say anything implying that someone is a thug.
And why go after the rating agency and not after the banks and investment houses that actually carried on the activities that caused the crisis? Oh, you see the big banks and Wall Street investment houses are good friends of the Obama administration.
No, this is another instance of Obama intimidation, and thinly veiled at that. I wish more people would speak up about it.
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