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Policy: Economy

Time for some legal problems at S&P? Tim Geithner accused of threatening company over downgrade

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Economy,Kathleen Sebelius,Standard and Poors

Chris Christie isn't the only politician whose deputies have been accused of abusing power by threatening those who resist them politically.

President Obama's former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner threatened Standard & Poor's in 2011 for downgrading the U.S. government's credit rating, according to an S&P honcho.

Reuters reports on the testimony of Harold McGraw, chairman of S&P's parent company:

"He said that 'you have done an enormous disservice to yourselves and to your country,'" and that S&P's conduct would be 'looked at very carefully,'" McGraw said. "Such behavior could not occur, he said, without a response from the government."

This seems to be a pattern in the age of Barack "we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends" Obama. Two instances, off the top of my head:

In 2010, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned insurers not to mention how Obamacare's regulations was driving up premiums: "Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections..."

In 2009, Obama attacked the Chrysler creditors who didn't like Obama's bankruptcy deal, which involved giving the company largely to a union that had spent millions to elect him. One lawyer for some creditors said Team Obama directly threatened his clients.

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