Thursday, July 28, 2011

DHS Job Opportunity - Staff Writer/Editor

Jennifer Abel has spotted an job opening available with the Department of Homeland Security, and is considering applying.  She first comments on the DHS job opportunity in a post titled “Our Services Touch Every US Citizen”, and then shares her resume cover letter in a post titled The Feral Genius Applies For A Government Job.

Genius.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/28 at 11:24 AM
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Now Standard & Poors Gets Standards? - I Fear Not

BankruptingAmerica.org has an article up titled Fear of downgrade spreads around capital, which quotes this Politico article as follows.

[W]hat really haunts the administration is the very real prospect, stoked two weeks ago by Standard & Poor’s, that Barack Obama could go down in history as the president who presided over his country’s loss of its gold-plated, triple-A bond rating. (bold by ed.)

The BankruptingAmerica.org piece adds this note regarding Standard & Poor’s David Beers, managing director of sovereign credit ratings, who some individuals believe wields an inordinate amount of clout.

David Beers, managing director of sovereign credit ratings at Standard & Poor’s, explains why a decision on a downgrade doesn’t hinge on the debt ceiling talks: “For us, the issue is not the debt limit — it’s the underlying fiscal dynamics. It’s not obvious to us that this political divide that is proving so difficult to bridge is going to be any more bridgeable three months from now or six months from now or a year from now.“

To which I say, why rely on Standard & Poor’s to provide an objective analysis of the credit rating of the United States, or any other sovereign nation for that matter?  Standard & Poor’s, just like Fitch Ratings, failed miserabaly when rating subprime mortgage risks, as is documented in a paper titled Role of the Credit Rating Agencies in the Subprime Mortgage Crisis (pdf of 59 pgs) wherein one reads the following.

The deterioration of the housing market had been apparent for five months. Finally, Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s reacted to the financial crisis “which involves more than $1.2 trillion of subprime mortgages originated in 2005 and 2006 alone” (Rosner, 2007, ¶ 1). As one investor asked during a mid-summer 2007 S&P conference call, “What is it that you know today that the markets didn’t know three months ago?” (Rosner, ¶ 1). [see pg. 14 - ed.]

And this.

The role of the credit rating agencies “was critical to the very existence of the subprime lending market” (Verschoor, 2007, ¶ 11). [see pg. 16 - ed.]

There is no doubt that the United States, and every single sovereign nation currently in existence, is overextended debt wise and at risk.  Even the most common man on the street knows this, and they’re not reading Standard & Poor’s rating reports to arrive at this conclusion.

UPDATE:  The common men on the street, Mick and Gerard discuss the banking crisis…, at the blog The View from Cullingworth, which I was turned onto by Daphne at Jaded Haven.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/28 at 08:53 AM
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