Once again, we’re all very disappointed in the fact that we can’t reestablish our “A.” Perhaps in a few years when the politicians have changed faces we’ll once again be worthy of our “A,” but for now we can only keep our fingers crossed. Maybe a little background information is in order. In 2011, Standard & Poor’s, or S&P as they’re known on Wall Street, took away our country’s “AAA” credit rating and replaced the last “A” in the sequence with a “+,” thus we’re now officially rated as “AA+.” Some people thought this would be a major crisis. However, after a respectful period of time had passed and we experienced the anticipated fluctuations in the financial markets, we went back to business as usual.
Nevertheless, most people haven’t given sufficient thought regarding the loss of an “A.” Therefore, let’s consider the following examples.
You’re sitting at a blackjack table in Las Vegas, you’ve had a pretty good run all night, and now you’re “all in” because you’re feeling very lucky. The mortgage, the education funds for your children, all your debts, absolutely everything is riding on the next card and you’re feeling extremely confident because your “up” card is a “King.” Your mind is racing “come on ace, come on blackjack.” Oops, wait a minute, there’s no “A” in the deck. Thus, blackjack is no longer an option, the 1 ½ times payout is out the window, and the “A” card is just a distant memory. Sorry, the S&P took it away. Better luck next time.
You’re in Chicago and it’s time to impress the wife by visiting the best jazz club in the city. However, when you try to tell the taxi cab driver where you would like to go, you sound like a buzzing bumble bee, “Please take me to the ‘jzz’ club.” The cab driver responds, “Where?” “The ‘jzzzz’ club,” you exclaim. Unable to decipher what you’re saying, the cab driver hurriedly drives off without you. Indeed, the significance of the “A” is very profound.
Along with his 40-years of dedication in the financial services industry, Bill is the President and CEO of GPSforLife, has recently authored a highly successful book entitled 44th: A Presidential Conspiracy, publishes his dynamic monthly financial newsletter MacroProfit, and faithfully continues his third decade on the radio with It’s All About Money, which can be heard weekdays on Money Radio in Phoenix and in podcast form on his website (and on smartphone apps) published at billtatro.com weekdays at 5pm Eastern. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @tatroshow.