Friday, August 26, 2011

I reject your reality.....

...and substitute my own.

That seems to be the mantra of City Controller Ronald Green when dealing with S&P:

(City dropping S&P as its investment-rating agency. Chris Moran, Chron Houston Politics blog.)
The city of Houston will drop Standard & Poor’s as the rating agency for its investment portfolio as a result of getting downgraded earlier this month, said City Controller Ronald Green.

The rating only applies to Houston’s investments, not its debt, so it has no effect on the city’s borrowing costs, Green said.
I get it, there are a LOT of things wrong with S&P as a ratings agency: They blew it on the sub-prime mess, haven't found a bubble they didn't like (or missed it's coming POP!) The problem is people are using these examples as factual arguments for why S&P is wrong NOW.

It's just more logical fallacy argument-making posed as fact. It only makes sense that, if the US Government is downgraded, that the investments stemming from US Government sources would be downgraded as well. Despite Green's claims, there's really nothing arbitrary about that. Political? Possibly, but not arbitrary.

The problem is, like Metro, City of Houston finances are on increasingly shaky ground. At times like these the main focus should be on efficiency and cost-cutting, not funding trinkets and expensive light-rail lines that don't serve those who need transit services the most.

The focus by Houston City and area elected officials (as well as appointed quasi-governmental bureaucrats) on trinket governance would be considered incompetent if you removed the understanding that today's government is not about citizen service. Put in their proper perspective, these decisions make perfect sense*.

*We'll let you decide the proper perspective for yourselves.

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