White House Economic Advisor Gene Sperling on Saturday night attacked the S&P decision to lower the credit rating on U.S. debt. Calling it “an error,” Sperling said that the decision “smacked of an institution starting with a conclusion and shaping any arguments to fit it.”
The error consisted of an incorrect analysis of U.S. debt, Sperling said, which overstated the national debt by $2 trillion. The White House pointed the error out to S&P on Friday, before the ratings downgrade, and the ratings agency acknowledged that it had made a mistake. In a statement, the agency said it had gone ahead with the downgrade anyway, because it “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics."