Attempts to appease the Gods in Brooks Brothers have failed: stocks fell immediately as the New York Stock Exchange opened this morning on the heels of S&P's downgrading of the U.S. credit rating over the weekend. The Dow is currently down 3 percent after the opening bell (falling over 300 points), while the S&P 500 dipped 3.7 percent and Nasdaq plunged 3.8 percent. The NYSE even invoked the seldom-used Rule 48, which essentially prevents bad news from being disseminated any earlier than it needs during conditions of "extreme market volatility." This is still better than Rule 94, which requires all day traders to curl into the fetal position, speak in tongues and drink nothing but tears for five business days.
Bloomberg notes that when these ratings agencies downgrade the US, they're merely parroting Tea Party politics, and the truth hurts: According to the WSJ gold soared over $1,700 an ounce. This is what your crazy uncle who got a "Don't Tread On Me" snake tattooed on his lower back has been telling you all along: ignore Glenn at your peril.
And the math-hating bookworms over at Standard & Poor's may not even be through yet, as the former English major and head of S&P told reporters there was a "1 in 3 " chance that the US's credit rating could be knocked down yet again, from AA+ to AA-. As the Point points out, that would put the US on the same level as Bermuda, Slovenia, and Qatar, "a Persian Gulf monarchy." The rating below AA- is "Check's In The Mail," and in that case we would join Gary, your asshole roommate whose rent checks keep bouncing while he steals your tortilla chips when you're away.
Even a Warren Buffett-owned ratings agency, Moody's, is talking of turning against America in its time of need. The agency wants us to slash our deficit even more for it to be confident enough to maintain our AAA with them. But what about revenue increases, like tax hikes on rich people or closing loopholes for private equity firms and hedge funds? Woah! Let's not get too hasty.