Amidst all of the market babble and financial gobbledegook that poured from both ‘analysts’ and ‘practitioners’ following last week’s global market meltdown, came a shaft of light. It took the form of a question and the question was posed by Robert Reich; “Pardon me”, he said “but who gave Standard & Poor’s the authority to tell America how much debt it has to shed and how?” If I was President Obama, I would be asked who regulates Standard and Poor’s, what powers it has under statute and if the organisation has acted unconstitutionally.
Obama and his administration have played a relatively good hand with a bunch of hick town players, who don’t know an Ace from a Jack. How else to explain a level of economic philistinism on behalf of a bunch of zealots who represent something called the ‘Tea Party’? But even having partially succumbed to the flat earthers, Obama now has to deal with their provisional wing – Standard & Poor’s.
Never mind the obvious question about how these sovereign ratings are arrived at in the first place; I mean how can any country, all countries, who need to borrow enjoy ‘triple ‘A ratings, never mind the US which is already in hock to the old men of the Chinese Politbureau to the tune of trillions of dollars? But let us ask why Standard & Poor’s have taken it upon themselves to reach a value judgement on the economic policies decided by an elected Government? How is it for instance that Standard & Poor’s can demand greater deficit reduction while having absolutely nothing to say about the disastrous and truly economy sapping Bush era tax cuts to the super rich? And how can Standard & Poor’s also have nothing to say about the emptying of America’s treasure chest in the sands of Mesopotamia and the craggy mountains of Afghanistan?
What is really lacking here is political leadership of the first degree. To be fair Obama is a better President than many, but he is no Roosevelt. In Europe we have a bunch of political pygmies who haven’t a clue, mainly because many of them have never worked in the real World. And on top of that we have an unelected European Commission, a sort of weird Politbureau with the power of its Chinese opposite number.
Anglo American free market fundamentalism has got us all into this mess, and now the poor have to pay the price. Yes it is standard fare for the poor, and as a result of the unilateral decision by a bunch of unaccountable suits to down grade America’s credit rating, the poor are going to have to pay a lot more.