Take Aways and Tapeworms

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Euro Flu is Catchy

It seems that recent comments about the European debt crisis is on the minds of our dear Wall Street friends. They must be wondering is this latest glitch has anything to do with another rating's agency making rather pointed comments about the Euro debt in the context of the risk rating of all of the countries involved. Why indeed would an agency that has bent over backwards to conform to the merry-making and fabrications of the past ten years now lay the egg that cooks everyone's goose, to boil the metaphor? That Standard and Poors (we have no affiliation with that woman) would hold such a threat over a badly wounded creature merely increases the likelihood that not only will THAT creature die, but the death itself will spread a plague on both our houses. Apparently, S&P simply doesn't get it.

Therefor, we see no choice but to issue a below-junk rating to S&P, a mere DDD rating. We strongly urge S&P to lay off the heavy handed fear-mongering, as much as you may take glee in the suffering of others. Why? Simple, really, and surprised you haven't figured it out for yourself: because pretty soon, nobody will give a flying fig what you have to say about anything. That's right - you will be rendered irrelevant.

Credit and Debit Card Company's Swindle

In an article in the Wall Street Journal today, we get a look at yet another instance of corporate greed writ large, but on the shoulders of the small. MasterCard and Visa have eliminated the discount rate they had previously  given to small businesses for small transactions using a debit card. Essentially, they have decided to nickel and dime American consumers by hitting small businesses with fee increases. They have figured that if they can't get away with charging the consumer directly for the use of their debit cards, they can just as easily go through the back door. The effect of this change will be to force small businesses to raise prices on purchases under $10 or so.

So, given this "squeeze 'em till they bleed" corporate philosophy, The People's Rating Agency is issuing a rating of Triple-C, or junk-status, to the credit and debit card industry.

Its Downgrade Time

We here at No Standards and Poor wish to make clear some assumptions that many readers may be making as they first encounter the People's Rating Agency. Unlike the other risk-oriented agencies, who exert pressure far out of proportion to their true value to society at large, the People's Rating Agency will rate risk on the basis of true performance to that very society at large.

To be clear, we will rate:

1. Other rating's agencies
2. Government agencies, local, state, and national
3. Corporations
4. and that includes Web-only companies
5. Political organizations, tax-exempt or not

The ratings will be predicated on the following criteria:

1. Responsiveness to the public
2. Fairness to consumers
3. Balance or lack thereof between the lowest pay grade and the highest
4. Honesty in dealings with public agencies; and for public agencies, their honesty in openness about such dealings
5. Transparency
6. Lack of partisan rhetoric, or the excess of same
7. Degree of bondage to foreign governments
8. Degree to which profits, jobs, and accountability are moved off-shore
9. Level of tax dodging
10. Level of honest job creation, with fair wages and benefits, and responsiveness to the environment

The rating system will be the same as promulgated by the other rating agencies already exerting control on governments and corporations, which result in every instance with some form of damage to the 99%. Thus, a AAA rating will be earned by how well the entity performs against the above criteria. For each letter downgrade, a clear and straight-forward rationale will be provided.

As to what our ratings will mean to those so rated, it is hoped that all such entities find cause to hold these ratings at least to the same light as they do to Moody's and Standard & Poors, among others. It is simply unacceptable to rate merely on financial performance and stability. It's well past time all such entities were rated on their full value and impact on the society they both profit from, and control.

Comments from the public at large are welcomed and encouraged. We urge you to do so in a civil manner. Any comments that are abusive or potentially libelous will be removed. Just because the 1% doesn't play nice, doesn't mean we have to follow their lead.