Last March, the president of the influential and heavily corporate CEO-populated Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago told a long and involved story.
The tale was about how he and some members of his group had tried to browbeat the New York credit ratings agencies into lowering Illinois’ bond ratings. The ratings hadn’t yet plummeted to where they are now, so the idea was to use ratings cuts to put pressure on Illinois to enact a tough pension-reform law that drastically reduced benefits for current and future public employee retirees.
There were a “couple” of interactions on the phone, he told his Union League Club audience, and “in one case it was in person.”
“How in the hell can you guys do this?” Fahner summed up the gist of the argument made to the ratings agencies. “You’re an enabler to let the state continue.” More…