It’s not just a tough time for the U.S. and its revised credit rating, it’s a tough time for the credit rating agency that issued that rating, Standard and Poor’s (S&P). On Friday, it downgraded America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+. An hour later, a $2 trillion (yes trillion) dollar error was discovered in the arithmetic. This, from the same rating agency that completely missed the mortgage backed securities blow-up in 2008.
Nevertheless, it held fast to its downgrade.
There was a thunder of criticism of S&P from a variety of sources including CNBC anchors, senators, the White House and commentators such as George Will.
Someone at S&P, smartly, realized the company should explain itself to the public, and two spokespeople appeared on talk shows Sunday morning.
It was the right idea, except only one did a decent job.
On Fox’s Sunday morning show with Chris Wallace, S&P’s David Beers, who runs the government debt rating unit, was the guest.