Big surprise. S&P's President is stepping down.
Over at John's blog a few weeks ago, I commented on the prospect of Moody's downgrading the creditworthiness of US Treasuries:
It'd behoove Moody's to make contingency plans to evacuate to an alternative foreign situs if it were to prematurely downgrade US Treasuries. That's hardball territory.
Now that S&P has crossed that Rubicon, I'd be surprised if its credit ratings' franchise remains intact. The Justice Department has reinvigorated its investigation of S&P's ratings of mortgage bonds.
You know what this means? The Administration can't fault S&P on the merits of its rating of Treasuries, despite the bluster about the US's still being a "triple A country", and will turn over rocks to indict it on the merits of some moron employee's careless remark about mortgage bonds.
In my view, S&P showed remarkable courage in focusing our attention on the seriousness of the debt issue. There's a small window of time (approximately three years) during which Washington can actually do something to keep the debt from spinning out of control.