Who’s Afraid of Standard & Poor’s?

It’s not like Paul Krugman needs my help in spreading his opinions, but people really ought to be paying a little more attention to the fact that right after S&P’s warning yesterday morning about U.S. debt, interest rates on U.S. debt…..fell. Why? Because demand for U.S. securities rose and their price went up, as the chart below of a typical treasury index fund shows.

In other words, actual bond traders not only ignored S&P, they decided that U.S. debt was even safer than they thought before. And if S&P’s warning didn’t have any impact on trading in actual treasuries, it almost certainly didn’t have any impact on anything else, including the stock market. As Krugman says, “People, this was a non-event.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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