Doublethink on triple-A

Which politician, holding a senior frontbench economic position, made the following sensible observation

I remind you that Lehman Brothers, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which started this global financial crisis, on that very day, they still had a AAA credit rating. What does a AAA credit rating really amount to? What I’m saying is you can’t place enormous store in the rating agencies. They do get things very badly wrong, and they totally missed those major firms and economies that were driving and the reason for the GFC.

Unfortunately, the same one who said only a few months ago that our

commitment to returning the Budget to a real surplus in a timely fashion and retaining Australia’s AAA rating is paramount.

Answer over the fold

Andrew Robb, Shadow Minister for Finance, Deregulation and Debt Reduction

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/07/robb-makes-aaa-goose-of-himself/

http://www.andrewrobb.com.au/Portfolio/PortfolioMediaReleases/tabid/71/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1505/Joint-Media-Release–Coalition-commitment-on-surplus-and-AAA-rating-clear.aspx

It’s sensible to aim for a budget surplus, properly defined, in good economic times, and a high credit rating has some benefits, but the idea that these should be paramount targets is the kind of nonsense, dominant on both sides of Australian politics, that we could do without. Measures of budget balance and debt should be policy instruments, used in the management of the economy, not targets, let alone “paramount commitments”. Unfortunately, Robb’s silly statement putting the AAA rating as a top priority passed without notice, while has entirely valid observation about the uselessness of such ratings has been the target of vigorous criticism.

27 thoughts on “Doublethink on triple-A

  1. @sdfc
    You’re always going to get pollies of varying intellectual capacities and capabilities in any broad society. I tend to listen to the upper 90 percentile of such and mostly ignore the others (of which Robb falls well and truly into).

  2. hc #18,

    What you are recognising is that it is not just Abbott who is sociopathic, Robb probably is as well. We can’t have this level of detachment from truth an process in government. This is the Harvard business ethic leaching into politics, let it go long enough and you wind up with this kind of shocker……

    Profit at any cost rather than a fair society. The US GOP is determined to push their people to the level of desperation where this is the only means for survival.

    The whole Abbott front bench is compromised and not worthy for public office.

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