About 20 protestors rallied outside Standard & Poor’s corporate offices in Chicago on Wednesday and demanded the firm repay taxpayers “billions and billions of dollars” because its “Triple F” rating of junk mortgage backed securities sparked the 2008 bank bailouts and the ensuing economic crises.
“We rated them as 'Triple F' for S&P’s role in creating this nation’s economic problems,” said Mehrdad Azemun, a senior organizer with National People's Action; one of a dozen groups in Make Wall Street Pay/Illinois. The rally took place outside Chicago’s Prudential Building at Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street.
“The S&P helped make the economic crises worse last week when they downgraded the U.S. credit rating,” Azemun explained. “We just want people to know this is the same S&P that helped create the economic crises,” he added.
David Hatch, a spokesman for Make Wall Street Pay/Illinois, said the rating agency’s parent company has spent $600,000 lobbying the US Congress in 2011-- on top of more than $11 million over the past decade.
“S&P is hardly an objective player in the current crisis. They caused it, and we will hold them accountable,” Hatch added.