US Govt Beheads S&P for Downgrading Credit Rating

                India-born S&P chief who cut US rating quits

        Experts suggested Sharma on his way out because of his bold call on US debt ‘Replacement of Sharma planned before US rate cut’

Chidanand Rajghatta TNN

                  Deven Sharma did the unthinkable. He told the world what people would utter in private and then look over their shoulders. No government in power wants truth to be exposed. US Government is just one more government speeding up the decline of its economy.

Will killing the messenger make a difference?


Washington: The Jharkhand-born Indian-American analyst who shook the world economy with an unprecedented downgrade of US credit rating earlier this month is stepping down as president of Standard & Poor’s.
Deven Sharma, who has been S&P president since August 2007, and was little known outside financial circles before his epic call on August 5, is leaving on September 12 to take up new challenges, the rating agency’s parent company McGraw-Hill said on Monday. Douglas Peterson, the current chief operating officer at Citibank, will replace Sharma.

      Most market mavens said S&P had been laying the groundwork for the change for months and it was unrelated to recent developments involving the US downgrade from AAA to AA+, a move which was slammed by the Obama administration. The downgrade resulted in turmoil in the world financial markets that is yet to subside.
In a statement, Harold McGraw III, chief executive of McGraw-Hill and current chairman of US-India Business Council, said Sharma was leaving after helping S&P split into two entities, a credit rating unit and McGraw-Hill Financial.

     DOWN & OUT
Deven Sharma was S&P president since August 2007. He was at the helm during S&P’s historic downgrade of US’s credit rating from AAA to AA+. Downgrade resulted in turmoil in the world financial markets that is yet to subside
Experts suggested Sharma on his way out because of his bold call on US debt ‘Replacement of Sharma planned before US rate cut’

      Washington: The outgoing president of S&P Deven Sharma, who was born in Dhanbad (his father B N Sharma was chairman of Bharat Coking Coal) and came to the US for higher studies, worked at Booz Allen Hamilton for 14 years before moving to McGraw-Hill in 2002, where he went on to head S&P in 2007.
Sharma holds a bachelor’s degree from the Birla Institute of Technology Mesra, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in business management from Ohio State University.
While Sharma himself did not elaborate on his exit, not everyone bought into the anodyne story of his leaving for other new challenges.

      “S&P and McGraw-Hill may not regret the downgrade, but the companies clearly regret how it was done. So Sharma is on his way out, and Congressional leaders prepare to return from recess in early September to deal with America’s political and debt problem,” noted David Magee, an analyst with the International Business Times.
“The system keeps working, as it did at S&P and McGraw-Hill. And that’s why Sharma is on his way out,” he added. McGraw Hill sought to suggest that work on replacing Sharma, 55, had started even before the downgrade saga unfolded.
“Deven assisted us with the creation of these two high- growth segments and was then ready for new challenges,” Harold McGraw III said in a statement. “Accordingly, we began a process to identify a new leader for S&P.” Reports suggested that the process started in March.
Also, the SEC is scrutinizing the method S&P used to cut the US credit rating.

He May Be Paying The Price For Historic Downgrade Of World’s Only Superpower, Say Posts On Cyberspace
Surojit Gupta | TNN

     Deven Sharma’s decision to step down as president of ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has shocked and surprised his college mates and admirers. Sharma, who had studied in Dhanbad and Ranchi in Jharkhand, had emerged as a hero after the ratings agency’s historic decision to downgrade US debt. His move had also drawn strong criticism from economists and US policymakers.
“      It is shocking news. We still don’t know what is the real reason for his decision. There must have been some pressure on him,” said Rajendra Yadav, deputy general manager of Force Motors, who studied mechanical engineering with Sharma at Birla Institute of Technology (Mesra) in Ranchi.

     In cyberspace, Sharma’s admirers came out in support and some said his exit from S&P was a fallout of his decision to go ahead with the downgrading of US debt ratings. The move had sent shivers through global financial markets and stunned US policymakers. Global stock markets have remained volatile since the decision and the impact is expected to hurt growth across the globe.
“…you pay the price for taking on what is still the world’s only superpower,” read a post on Facebook. Surprisingly, the Facebook page which had sprung up after the historic debt downgrade does not carry any news reports or posts on Sharma’s move to step down. The page has seen more than 300 visitors.
The intensity of posts on Facebook and Twitter was much less compared to the day US was downgraded. For expatriate Indians, Sharma was a hero and a villain. But on Tuesday, cyberspace smelt a conspiracy on his ouster. “S&P President is out. Now how long before the US rating is raised back to AAA,” said a post on Twitter. “Market expected to rally tomorrow on Sharma’s outing from S&P as obedient CEO installed to upgrade US rating,” another post said.

     Sudhir Sahay, another close friend of Sharma and a businessman , said his exit from S&P was definitely linked to the debt downgrade. “His decision put the US in a difficult situation. I think he was forced to go because of that,” said Sahay, a college mate of Sharma. “Deven is a man of conviction. He was always firm in his decisions. For us, he will always remain a hero,” said Sahay.
Douglas Peterson, the current Chief Operating Officer at Citibank, will replace Sharma at S&P. “It has been a privilege to serve as the president of S&P and I am proud of what we as an organization have achieved over the past four years,” Sharma said.

Our role is to call the risks objectively, with transparency, and that’s what we try to do to fulfil our role and that’s what our job is for benefit of investors
Deven Sharma | S&P
When S&P downgraded
US long-term credit rating
from AAA to AA+, it was
doing so for some sound reasons — because of the appalling immaturity of the Republican Tea Partiers in their negotiations over the debt ceiling. In essence, this downgrade was earned not by Mr Obama & Timothy Geithner, it marks the sterling efforts of Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann

The Obama administration has made history by presiding over the first-ever downgrade in the US credit rating. President Obama has outdone all his predecessors in wrecking America’s good name. His answer to this problem: Spend even more


     S&P’s decision showed stunning lack of knowledge about basic US fiscal budget math, and they had reached absolutely the wrong conclusion
Timothy Geithner |

       There are millions of investors around the globe who trade in treasury securities. They assess our credit worthiness every minute and their collective judgment is that the US has the means and political will to make good on its obligations. The magnitude of this mistake—and the haste with which S&P changed its principal rationale for action when presented with this error—raise fundamental questions about credibility and integrity of S&P’s ratings action
John Bellows |

        Just to make it perfect, it turns out that S&P got the math wrong by $2tn, and after much discussion conceded the point — then went ahead with the downgrade. . . In short, S&P is just making stuff up — and after the mortgage debacle, they really don’t have that right

Andher Nagari: Anna Hazare Arrested : Congress on Back Foot

     No political party in India is in support of a strong LokPal. The politicians have over the last 45 years managed to stymie any attempt to oversee their corrupt practices.

      However it was Congress that has taken lead in the fight against the people of India in their fight against corruption. Congress supported by some media houses resorted to dirty tricks to malign and undermine the cause and persons connected with the fight against corruption.

    How and why did the Congress get into this jam? A study of incidents of corruption , their magnitude during the last three years, and the attempts by the government formed by UPA to cover up the wrong doings and brazenly protect the culprits had sent a clear message to the citizens that this government headed by Manmohan Sing as PM was not willing / able either to stop corruption nor bring culprits to book.

Congress leaders and spokesmen were on the offensive from day one to protect the culprits in various scams. It was only the intervention of the Supreme court that compelled the congress to initiate action against Kalmadi, Raja, Maran, etc. Even in the cash for votes scam in the parliament the Delhi Police had managed to scuttle the inquiry.

This brazen attitude of the congress coupled with attempts to hoodwink the people with the fake committee to formulate the LokPal Bill and scuttle the Peoples LokPal draft angered the public as never before.

Anna Hazare, literally from the back woods in a remote village called Ralegaon in Maharashtra had shot to fame in the last decade with his crusades against corruption. When he took up the issue of corruption from Delhi he caught the attention of the public, especially the middle class and the media. People of India have been feeling the pinch of bad governance, high inflation of 20% at street level since over a decade. The media explosion has brought the revulsion of the people to their political masters into their drawing rooms. Communication scenario has changed the way people interacted.  It was but natural that people realized that they were not alone any more in their anguish and pain. Millions of others shared their views and suffered as much under the present system and those who ran it and benefited from it.

. The congress which came to power on a negative vote for the BJP  has consistently ignored the public sentiments over the last three years , and has gone back on its promise to wok for the good of the aam admi.

That the PM has advisers who have grown arrogant in their power and have lost touch with the public, is no secret

Traffic Hazards in Dharavi: Mumbai


    Chaos Averted As Collapse Occurs At Dharavi T Junction During Non-Peak Hours. Locals Say Culvert Was Dilapidated

    Shawan Sen | TNN

  •       A major disaster was averted when a dilapidated culvert running over the Dadar-Dharavi nullah at the Dharavi T Junction collapsed on Saturday. Though there were no injuries, there were huge traffic disruptions and power failures due to the accident.
  •         The collapse happened at 11.15 am, when there was practically no traffic on the culvert because of the time of day as well as the weekend. Traffic on the culvert increases during peak hours in the morning and evening, even on a Saturday.
  • A dumper and a tempo were on the culvert at the time, waiting for the signal to change so they could enter the Dharavi T Junction.
    The culvert is part of the Sion-Mahim Link Road and carries traffic from Mahim to Sion as well as Bandra. The culvert was constructed prior to 1995 and BMC officials blamed weak soil at the ends of the carriageway for the collapse. A second culvert, which carries traffic the other direction, from Sion to Mahim, is undamaged and still open.
  •       Traffic was disrupted throughout the day, with commuters having to take diversions from the Mahim fish
    market. Electricity supply to the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Kalina and a few other areas was disrupted as cables beneath the nullah were damaged. Four cables of Reliance and one cable of Tata were damaged in the incident. “Our supply to Raheja Hospital and Taj Land’s End has not been disrupted as our other cable is working,” said K Khawadkar, manager, Tata.
  •       Ashok Kumar Ramagiri, 24, driver of the dumper, told TOI, “I was waiting at the signal when the incident took place. Initially, I thought it was a tyre puncture, as the vehicle sank towards the left. Before I could realize what was happening, the dumper fell into the nullah. I somehow managed to get out of the vehicle.”
    The dumper was filled with sand and was on its way to Kandivali from Dadar. The tempo was behind the dumper. “As soon as I saw the dumper leaning to the left, I realized there was some problem. I immediately jumped out. Police reached the spot after 15 minutes,” said tempo driver Mohammed Abdul Salim.
  • According to Dharavi residents, the culvert, which is maintained by the BMC, was in a dilapidated condition. The culvert is surrounded by marshy land. “No one has ever come to check the condition of the culvert. Garbage has been lying on this culvert for days, but no one bothers to clean it. Had the incident taken place in the evening, a lot of lives would have been lost,” said Riyaz Ali, a resident.
    BMC officials declined to comment on the maintenance of the culvert. A senior official in the bridges department said, “The MMRDA handed over the culvert to us. They constructed the road leading to the culvert and they should have ensured that the culvert could withstand the traffic load. What makes things worse is that the road is wider than the culvert.”
    D V S Jain, assistant municipal commissioner, G-North Ward, said, “Prima facie, it appears that the foundation of the bridge weakened due to soil erosion. The flow of the nullah has not been affected, otherwise it would have been difficult to manage the situation.”
    Civic officials said that it was difficult to say how long the repairs would take. “We know it is a very important junction connecting Mahim and Dharavi and is used by several people. We would like to make it usable as soon as possible,” Jain said.
  •       A police official said the road would be opened to the public after the BMC gave permission. “In all likelihood, we will first open a small part of the road for light motor vehicles,” said inspector Y C Gorde, of the Shahu Nagar police.
    SINKING FEELING ROAD RESTRICTIONS: The Mahim-to-Sion portion of the culvert will remain shut until repairs are complete. An undamaged portion may open earlier if the BMC gives
    permission. The Sion-to-Mahim portion of the culvert remains open Collapse triggers power outage
    The collapse of the 15-foot-long dilapidated culvert running over the Dadar-Dharavi nullah at the Dharavi T Junction triggered not only traffic jams but also a power failure on Saturday morning when a high tension cable was damaged. The cable, which supplies a major share of electricity from Tata’s power plants to Reliance’s network in suburban Mumbai, passed below the culvert. Around one lakh consumers in Bandra (E&W) Khar (E), Kurla, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Suman Nagar, Chembur, Chunabhatti, Kalina, and parts of Dharavi, Sion and Mahim were affected from 11.15am to 1pm.
  • “After the damage to the high tension 33 KV network following the collapse, five power supply feeders got tripped. On one feeder, around 10,000 to 11,000 consumers are fed power supply thus affecting the supply of around 60,000 consumers,” said an R-Infra spokesperson. A permanent restoration work is scheduled for today. Around 10,000-15,000 consumers of Tata Power in the suburbs were also affected. A small number BEST consumers were also affected, though officials refused to comment on the power failure.
  •       BMC says the lower portion of the ends of the carriageway, where the culvert join to the main roads, had weakened due to soil erosion
  •       There were traffic snarls throughout the day, especially at Dharavi T junction (on the Sion side of the culvert), near Raheja Hospital (Mahim) and at Mahim fish market


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