Moody’s Stops Rating Government Pensions on the Basis of Their own Claims about the Value of Their Investments

Government pensions suddenly don’t look like they are funded securely now that Moody’s stops lying.

ZeroHedge reports, “Cities, States Shun Moody’s For Blowing the Whistle On Pension Liabilities.”

It quotes the Wall Street Journal:

Other cities and counties from California to Florida are reconsidering their relationship with Moody’s as it expands its stricter ratings approach around the U.S., threatening a seal of approval that for decades was all but a necessity in the municipal-bond world..

Moody’s metamorphosis began after the 2008 crisis as ratings firms drew criticism in Congress and from regulators for their rosy grades on mortgage bonds that went sour. For local governments, the key change came in 2013 when Moody’s decided it would no longer rely on cities’ and states’ targets for investment returns when it calculates pension liabilities—one of the biggest costs shouldered by local governments. Moody’s own estimates are more conservative, meaning holes in pension funds look bigger.

As Moody’s adopted the stricter ratings methodology, it diverged from rivals Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings in its assessment of problems facing local governments across the U.S.

Bruce “self-identifies” as a woman.

Rachel “self-identifies” as black.

Chicago “self-identifies” as solvent.

In each case, reality is not in line with the pronouncements, but when you’re grading your own paper—by your own self-serving standard—anything is possible.

What happens to sane, truth-tellers?

Ask Moody’s, which is no longer getting many calls from government sociopaths seeking a company willing to sell its soul for a nice ratings contract. Ask the growing number of business owners being legally destroyed—and forced into hiding by death threats—simply for saying that marriage is, and always has been, a complementary, diversity-exalting, man-woman thing.

It brings to mind a very sad summation line from nearly 3000 years ago:

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

America began with the recognition there is a King in Heaven; even one of the few non-Christians among our Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin, knew that to build a nation without acknowledging His sovereign hand was a fool’s errand:

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

The Constitutional Convention was in disarray, and Franklin urged regular prayer be added to each day’s efforts, and it is reported that once this practice was implemented, the prior impasse was resolved. Yet Franklin’s warning in that same speech from June 18, 1787, is sobering:

“We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.”

Divided… local interests… confounded… reproach… does that not well describe Congress, the Courts, and the Executive Branch in 2015?

Rather than patient, reasonable building of consensus, victories today are established through hidden proceedings in basement rooms—by a form of conquest, rather than the consent of the governed.

The curse Franklin outlined is now upon us.

Reality does not bend to our unfounded opinions–no matter how forcefully we proclaim them, nor how many sophists in the professoriate and media join in the dissonant chorus. The answer today—as in 1787—is that we desperately need to seek mercy and help from the One who “governs in the affairs of men.”

Only then will hope be reborn for a future filled with melodies of grace and peace. Only as we submit to the King will cultural sanity return, as it did in ages past for a certain rebellious, self-exalting, and proud king:

“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

“At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:34-37)

Bruce is still a man. Rachel’s ethnic background has not changed. Chicago and many other cities are insolvent, and playing games to make it appear they’re not.

The sooner we acknowledge the reality of our perilous conditions, the sooner we can seek Divine grace to undergird the healing of confused souls and rebuilding of all that our rebellion has destroyed.

God is willing… are we?