I just bought some shares in an index fund that tracks the Wilshire 5000, which means I just bought shares in the 5000 largest American companies. I did this because I wished to take substantive action immediately upon learning of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US credit. Standard & Poor’s, and to a lesser degree, Fitch and Moody’s bear much responsibility for the global recession from which we are trying to extricate ourselves. They maintained AAA ratings for companies run by abject criminals who knowingly, consciously, and systematically lied to US citizens and citizens of the world at large. Thus, they are culpable in the collapse of many banks (my own included) and their actions, among other things, drove thousands of families from their homes. As such, their opinion is worthless to me and it should be worthless to you.
I am not rich. I don’t make enough through SAG or the WGA to qualify for health insurance. I currently make my living writing for magazines and performing live comedy, though I have worked in factories, publicly traded corporations, schools and newspapers at other times in my life.
But based on reports from S&P in 2008, their forecasts and analysis, and the human beings who write and disseminate them have been so disastrously incorrect, not to mention nefarious and motivated by political and financial gain, that I thought it was time to buy some stock in the U.S. of A.
I am NOT saying that our Congress isn’t a GLOW IN THE DARK EMBARRASSING DISASTER. They are. How could they not expect negative consequences from their shameful, childish performance over the past months?
It is worth noting that I am NOT buying U.S. Treasuries at the moment. I’m buying stocks. Right now, if the government wants my money, they’ll need to tax the companies I just gave it to or wait until they hire someone and tax their earnings. S&P’s assessment of U.S. credit is not wrong, but they have forfeited their right to have their opinion valued and embraced.
What I am saying is that I believe in me, and I believe in you and I believe in elbow grease, objectivity and history. Did you see the recession coming? Did it announce itself and tell you the date it would arrive? No, it did not. Nor will recovery. So quit whining. Pessimism is for losers.
So to paraphrase Warren Buffett, whose sterling, brick and mortar, brilliantly run, cash-rich company Berkshire Hathaway was ALSO downgraded by S&P in the past, “American stocks are on sale.” Why not pick some up? I did. And I’m a 34 year old, hard working husband and father who gives a shit about the country he lives in and doesn’t take orders from S&P, CNN, or Congress. I give them. And so do you.
*and since I’m ostensibly a comedian, a joke for you:
To give you an idea of the validity of S&P’s opinion, they gave “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” 5 stars.