Goolsbee: S&P Made $2 Trillion Math Error

Sunday, 07 Aug 2011 01:19 PM

By Amy Woods

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The White House’s  departing economic adviser accused S&P of acting like amateurs in downgrading the U.S. credit rating, Politico reports.
 
Austan Goolsbee said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the agency used “questionable mathematics” when it lowered the rating last week to AA+, from AAA. The Treasury Department urged Standard & Poor’s not to downgrade after it found an accounting error.

“They made a $2 trillion math error, and they didn’t check their work,” Goolsbee said.

Policymakers should concentrate on boosting job creation and lowering the unemployment rate, now at 9.1 percent, he said. In addition, extending the payroll tax cut and taking action on free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea are sound economic initiatives that could garner support from both parties.

“There is a danger that if we just keep saying it’s all about the short-run deficit, we are losing sight of the fact that we’ve got to reignite the engine of job growth,” Goolsbee said.

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