VIDEO: Corporate CEOs admit pushing credit agencies to lower Illinois's bond rating as part of attack on pensions


biden big f'ing deal

Relevant segment at around the 47-minute mark.

Via IllinoisChannelTV,  Mar 8, 2013:

From the Union League Club of Chicago: Former Attorney-General Ty Fahner, who now heads the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, talks about the urgent need to cut the cost of state pensions.

H/t: @johnvmoore who said, "I believe corporations screwing a state's bond rating is huge." Why yes, yes it is.

Via We Are One Illinois (bolding is mine) released the following statement. They are responding to Ty Fahner, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, who said that members of that committee lobbied major credit agencies to downgrade the bond ratings of Illinois:

Coalition Calls for Investigation into Corporate CEOs Who Lobbied for Illinois Bond Downgrades

"Ty Fahner and unnamed members of his corporate-backed committee have shown their true colors. Fahner bragged openly about joining members of the business-backed group, behind closed doors, in lobbying credit rating agencies to lower Illinois' bond ratings in an irresponsible and unethical attempt to put the state in an even more difficult position. They show total contempt for the taxpaying public, total disregard for the difficult fiscal challenges the state faces, and total hypocrisy over their alleged care for the working families of Illinois.”

In addition, a serious conflict of interest may exist if either these unnamed CEOs or the big corporations they control profited in any way from lobbying to make Illinois pay more interest on its bonds -- bonds which they or their corporations may hold. [...]

Yesterday, Capitol Fax shared a video of Fahner speaking before the Union League Club, where he said, "Me and some of the people that make up the Civic Committee...did meet with and call...Moody's and Fitch [Ratings] and Standard and Poor's...and say, 'How in the hell can you guys do this [maintain the state's credit rating]? You know, you are an enabler to let the state continue. You keep threatening more and more and more.'"

Fahner then took credit for the subsequent downgrades to Illinois' credit ratings, stating, "But if you watch what happened in the last few years, it's been steadily down. Before that, it's been the blind eye."

As Vice President Biden would say, this is a big f'ing deal.

  • William K. Black

    Can someone identify the questioner (see the 46 minute mark) who makes the suggestion of attacking Illinois' credit rating that prompts Fahner's response? I'd like his name, organization, and title.

  • pigboy

    There is so much money in failure, shortages and crisis. This whole thing is at the core of how republicans make work. Making government fail working people and enrich the wealthy by giving them our hard earned wages.

  • BrooklynDame

    This is absolutely incredible. Using their power to help tank their state's rating, which exacerbates their fiscal woes and ends up costing taxpayers money, is shameful and a stupid gamble. But, of course, they don't care. The objective is to tank the rating so that investment in the bonds becomes more lucrative, and it drives up pressure on unions to cut pensions. Win-win for them, lose-lose for working folks who depend on the services and pensions that will be cut as a result of lower bond ratings.

  • I'm listening to this whole thing with my mouth open and not by choice.

  • UsedtoBE

    OMG...this IS a BIG F-ING DEAL!

  • Apparently Mr. Fahner went to the Mitt Romney School of Speaking Off The Cuff.

  • Clearly people still don't understand how that works, or that phones have cameras and people have them on them - ALL the time.

  • Holy cow. Has he never heard of video cameras and the Internetz? Good catch GottaLaff!