I have to admit the fallout that S&P has received because of its downgrading the US credit rating reminds me of several experiences I had in a previous career as a manager.
It appears that due to the S&P’s move both Democrats and Republicans are attacking the agency’s credibility. Both parties are making plans to get even with the S&P by placing it under greater scrutiny and restrictions that will minimize its influence. One particular element that has incensed the Democrats was how the S&P had overestimated the total federal deficit by $2 Trillion. I think that is a significant difference, but it seems they are using it for an excuse.
I don’t know how many times I saw this as a manager. The Quality organization would bring defect data to meetings to discuss the cost of quality. Rather than figuring out what needed to be done to reduce the costs, managers would attack the data. There would be hours of discussion about how the data was wrong, and subsequently nothing would change. My fear is that our national situation will be similar.
Yes the criteria for making the decision to reduce the US credit rating was subjective, but the fact is our politicians can’t get along. I really think that is why the S&P took the action they did. Not only did our politicians take too long to make a decision, but it was a wishy-washy decision. If I were a business owner and these yahoos were my managers I’d get a whole new management team.
Being a good manager does not mean shooting the messenger when they bring bad news. Being a good manager is listening to the concerns and problems, and then working with your team to make the best possible decision you can as quickly as you can.
So kudos to the S&P for their courage. A great big long raspberry to our political managers for not looking at themselves, but looking at destroying the messenger. That is horrible management!
And that is my thought for the day!