August 5th, 2011
11:57 PM ET

Video: Man behind downgrade decision

Editor's Note: CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to John Chambers, the man behind the decision for the S&P downgrade.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Raw Politics
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Maurice

    I am a veteran of Vietnam Nam and I am appauled @ how we actually got to this point (downgrade in our credit rating) in the economy (due to the polictical childish behavior). So, I have come up with a solution that is designed to do two things. First and primarily, congress will FOCUS on the citizens of America, not the political party lines. Secondly, The discussion will be only about enhancing the economy (through business development, putting america back to work & education affordability.

    A bi-partisan commitee will be assembled to do this.
    Before this can work and go any further... There MUST BE two immutable rules.

    1. Any politician that BLAME by direct statement or inferrence will be summarilty dismissed from the commitee or instantly "wave his right to vote on the comittee's decision and his vote will go to the majority consensus of the commitee. (After all this is a serious problem we are expecting our congressional leaders to address... NOT TO BLAME WHO IS RESPONSIBLE on how we got to this point).
    2. Anyone on the commitee who directs the conversation to any matter that DOES NOT directly address the issues of small business development, putting AMERICANS back to work (not job creation for China, India or Brazil) & education affordability these are on the table (and none can be added until a solution has been reach).

    I will love to hear or see any other doable solution... Childish behavior is not acceptable for adult problems. So the rule have to be severe... just as severe as the the situation that we are now facing. THE HELL with party politics and let's strive for real solutions.

    August 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  2. Dr. Mary Leigh Morbey

    It is sad indeed that the US Tea Party movement with their rigid principles has led this financial downturn globally.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  3. sharon dell foster-wray

    When I hear you speaking to this person from
    "Standards and Poor" economist and pervayor of the truth I guess, I wish I had a copy of the letter I wrote the
    cbs/nbc and so on people today about why is this person Geritner being allowed to stand anywhere near t he
    United States treasury or the consumer protection agency? It appears there is a clone of him in the obitiuaries of
    the Houston chronicle last sunday, who knows what that is about, then the fact this perhaps same "clone" or him, was at the fourth floor dept of real property when I was there yrs ago asking who keeps changing the documents regarding
    the history of my home, the last home my husband and I owned and there he sits turning around in a swivel chair, grinning like a cheshire cat at me! (or his clone) Anyway, what is is that it seems everyone already knows what is going on a group of "elite" rich from stealing from stupid people like me are going in and changing the finances of the world for nothing less than greed and arrogance. Here I am in a storage unit instead of home because someone decided I was an easy target of hate and lies that could be omitted due to the omission of legal representation with an honest attorney, who should of been and be from the United States Attorney Generals office! It appears someone cloned me, took all is mine and should be with the whole "Geitner" mentality backing them up, it is not legal it needs to be prosecuted and put to penitence and prison, please try to find one honest fbi agent, I wonder if one still exist. I am worth saving even if I am not a 15 yr old sexy teenager who this whole sick government seems to worship~!
    sharon dell foster-wray

    August 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  4. Bob G

    One category on your website is "Keeping them Honest". One component of this endeavor is self-examination. You, Ali, Wolf, and many of your professional associates have been constantly harping on " The sky (translate: S&P) is falling" for several weeks. To what extent are you and your professional brothers accept responsibility for this fulfilling prophecy. Only the extremely naive would have the temerity to claim that the constant bombardment of the press regarding lowering of the U.S. credit rating did not paint the S&P technicians into a corner of being forced to lower the rating – or lose face. In an industry that is 99% about "face", it will be protected at nearly any cost.
    I agree that the press has the responsibility to "inform". I do not agree that it is ethically responsible for a supposed "reporter" to assume the mantle of political or economic prophet and preach opinion until it is forced into being.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  5. Sandra

    I am so tired of watching Congress use terrorist tactics to do their job. How much can taxpayers save by cutting the Congressional entitlement programs ... especially the entitlements they claim after leaving office whether they improved the country or not. Like most narcissitic leaders they never think of sacrifices on their back.

    August 8, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  6. Stéphane Clementoni


    Excuse my English, I'm a 47 year old french Canadian from Montreal. Love watching CNN even if Radio-Canada and BBC are more objective on the US situations.

    I'm disappointed (not surprised) in the way you (Americans) are reacting to the downgrade. That millions of Americans have overloaded credit cards and houses too expensive for them is ok, but that your government has a down grade credit iis a shame!?! Please, tell them not to become as hypocrite has their politicians.

    We (canadians) are finnacially (not politically) in a much better shape than you. And guest what? We have medicare since the 60's and we don't have military spending that you have. We decided to take care of ALL are people (rich or poor) before anything else. If that can help your supercomitee. I'll bet you the "super comitee" wil only end up as an expenses in the 2011 financial statement.

    Hope the change of time of your show won't change a thing in the repeats at 11pm. Continue your grate job!

    Stéphane Clementoni, Montreal, Canada

    August 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  7. Gregg Alan Smith

    Ironically, it seems that, thanks to a whole bunch of folks, the U.S. credit rating is downgraded and thus likely wouldn't allow the U.S. to qualify for a mortgage in today's economy...

    gregg alan smith
    dallas, texas

    August 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  8. Naresh

    S&P and the other credit rating agencies are the single most responsible entities for financial mess that we are in. They have given AAA ratings to companies that are either defunct or bankrupt now. The erstwhile trust in taking their analysis seriously has left quite a lot of people on brink of financial shambles. Therefore, S&P has no legitimacy or reputation to predict the rating of publicly traded companies let alone sovereign nation debt. Their analysis is sub-standard and can’t be taken seriously. Furthermore, the Obama Administration should take serious action against them for defamation and hurting US national & financial security with their sub-standard kindergarten like analysis. The administration’s case was bolstered when S&P acknowledged the $2Trillion error in calculations. It is absurd that the we are relying on S&P analysis when they know can’t actually count!!!!!

    It will be good & responsible if CNN and other media outlets pay less attention to what S&P and others think and focus on real news.


    August 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  9. Greg

    Anderson, the real culprit here is John Boehner. In just a few short months he has shown us that he has no control over the House. He walked away from a deal with the Democrats, that the public favored in terms of a mix of spending cuts and increased tax revenues. An amount close to 4T dollars which the credit agencies said before hand, was needed to maintain our rating. Instead he surrendered to these irresponsible tea party republicans who would rather cripple this country than compromise, for the sake of ideology and not reality. A children's table should be set for these Jr. Republicans when grown ups are making decisions. Let Eric Canor sit with them while there at it. Do what's right for this country or get the he'll out.

    August 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  10. Mike

    Just a few questions.
    1. Does S&P get reimbursement from someone for stating a credit rating (they had Credit Suisse Goup AAA /Enron also)?
    2. Does the political contributions of those giving this credit rating (all the way up to mcgraw-hill ceo) having any weight on this rating?
    3. A two trillion mistake. Do they have a crystal ball that will tell them the nations accurate debt and stock market prices ten years out?


    August 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  11. Al

    I don't usually comment on these blogs but this mess with our goverment just makes me sick. How can it be that the Constitution allows the republican representatives to take a pledge that is not in concert with the wealfare of the people of the United States. That they would actually place allegience to the pledge above the welfare of the America people. Their recent actions have demonstrated this and it is evident that they have placed importance of protecting their job above the wishes of the people and the welfare of our country. These self serving tea party, republican and select democrat representatives have not listened to the wishes of the people who elected them into office as shown by several polls. I certainly hope that the recent events have opened the eyes of the american public and that these representatives are seen for what they are. They can be and should be replaced with the next election if not sooner.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  12. Debra Carlsbad, CA

    I don't usually make political comments, but I am glad about what happened yesterday. Just like we have a credit score, the goverment has one as well. I hope this is the kick in the butt that our government needs to work together. Of course, there is politicking and finger pointing at Obama, but here is a civics lesson people: Our government has 3 branches, not 1, with the legislative being the largest body. It's up to Congress to come together and start being a part of the solution, regardless of their party affiliation. Just like people shouldn't buy an $800K home if they make $30K (led to the housing crisis), our government needs to stop spending ~ we can't afford it!!! If all else fails, Suze Orman is available =0)

    August 6, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  13. jonbret ivanovich kominitsky

    The U.S Debt Clock $ 14,539,478,666.00 trillion dollars....understand the crisis ! Figuratively,there are 314,159,265 million Americans living in this Nation.Only 123,000,000 million people voted 2008 Presidential Election...65 million people voted for Barack Hussein Obama Jr./ Biden, thats just half of a third of 314,159,265 million Americans here in this Nation.So lets get it straight ! That leaves two thirds of Americans who never voted...Understanding the Almighty Dollar an the amount of $ 14,539,478,666.00 Trillion Dollars. How much money is that ? Listen, " We The People " that's every single soul that breaths air here in this Nation Being Male, Female, Child, or New Born could have $ 45,000.00 U.S Dollars in hand...That's the equivalency ! The Futurity of Our Nation an its Children have forever been violated...This Teen Trillion Dollar Debt Crisis is a Monstrous Absurdity, it's a Congressional Crying Shame and it is Catastrophe !!! We are living in a Country Under Conduction of elected people from these States who have Reneged on their Official Obligations. The option of Solvency is Severely Flawed.So Right Now I Figure that my $ 45,000.00 U.S Dollars which this Country Owes me...Ha Ha would Endorse for the The 2012 Republican Presidential / Vice Presidential Campaign...The 2012 Republican Ticket...here in the Heart Land...Drum Roll if you please ! 2012 Presidential Runner-Mr.Donald John Trump Sr./2012 Vice Presidential Runner-Mrs.Sarah Louise Palin Heath..So Invest in America if your an American 2013 TRUMP/PALIN : )

    August 6, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  14. Joanna

    You're NOT Keeping 'Em Honest, Anderson. All your pundits (except Ali Velchi) are going "political" on you. John Chambers clearly said that one of the factors in their decision was the failure to raise the debt ceiling in a "timely manner, without much debate...as the US has done for 60 years...and going to the last minute..." and the political discourse with regard to "not raising the debt ceiling and letting the country default," never mind the absolute refusal to raise revenues, which he said was unacceptable. These two factors rest squarely on the shoulders of the NEW members of Congress, the Tea Party Republicans." If you recall, the President wanted a "big deal" of 4.5+/- Trillion in spending cuts plus raising revenues, which John Boehner thought was a good idea. If you recall, the Tea Party went crazy and threatened to filibuster. Even now, when the new committee is being formed, Mitch McConnell has vowed that he will NEVER put anyone on the Committee who will even consider raising revenues. KEEP EM HONEST, Anderson. This is ALL the doing of the recalcitrant Tea Party and the PLEDGES signed for Grover Norquist.

    August 6, 2011 at 1:53 am |
  15. Scott

    So why are we giving the ratings companies so much credit and authority, Anderson? Aren't these the same folks who led us into the 2008 financial crisis whilst telling us that Goldman Sachs and friends were all healthy? Amazing that with such a dismal, some might say "criminal" track record, these ratings jokers carry so much weight and wield so much power. Why don't you get them on your show and ask them why we should believe them now?
    PS – If you haven't watched the documentary Inside Job, you're overdue. Why does the mainstream media (you) fail to push for real answers from the people who brought us all down and now expect us to bail them out?

    August 6, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  16. Tommie

    These are truly bad times for the world. Something that I learned as a child growing up in the Baptist Church–"When you dig one ditch, you better dig two–because the ditch you dig may be for you". Well, it looks like we are in the same ditch–everybody–rich and poor.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  17. G. Stanley Collyer, Ph.D

    Most of the media often treats both parties in the debate on the economy as equally at fault. The Obama administration gave away everything but the kitchen sink with the Gang of Six proposal, and the Republicans still didn't budge. So how can the media even intimate that both sides are at fault. Being evenly balanced does not necessarily mean one has to be totally disingenuous. The only way to even start to solve this problem is with revenues...a dirty word for Republicans.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:36 am |