Last month, Jharkhand born Indian-American analyst Deven Sharma hit the headline across the world, when as a President of Standard & Poor (S&P), a rating agency; he took historical decision to downgrade the rating of U.S. Debts from AAA to AA+. The S&P Rating Agency issued a report that questioned high levels of U.S. Debt; they blamed the US policymakers’ inability to rein in the burgeoning federal deficit, not doing enough to cut the costs, raise revenue and steps taken by them to raise its debt ceilings. The downgrading move was decried by the Obama administration in very strong words, they questioned the honesty and integrity of the people responsible, also the U.S. treasury accused S&P of making a $ 2 trillion error in their calculation.
Reacting to the downgrade, the President Barack Obama said, “No matter what some agency may say, we have always been and always will be a triple-A country,” he was showing his weakness rather than his strength. The financial markets ignored him. Meanwhile, Deven Sharma did not back down and defended the downgrade and tried to justify the action.
Since that downgrade, the financial markets world-wide have seen new wave of upheaval that continues to rock the economic boat of many a nations. Perhaps, the credit downgrade of US Debt, heralds a figurative decline of US financial clout as the world’s leading economic power; it seems that the world economic order is churning, slowly but surely and steadily into a more multi-polar world.
Barely few weeks have passed, since the downgrading of U.S. credit rating; the news broke out that Deven Sharma, President of S&P is going to step down on September 12 of this year and he is going to take up new assignment, the S&P’s parent company McGraw-Hill stated. In a statement, Harold McGraw III, the chief executive of McGraw-Hill, said that Sharma was leaving after helping S&P split into two separate entities, a credit rater and McGraw-Hill Financial. “Today, S&P is a stronger company, whose 1,300 global analysts are sharply focused on the quality, independence and transparency of S&P’s research and analytics,” McGraw said. Sharma said, “It has been a privilege to serve as the President of S&P and I am proud of what we as an organisation have achieved over the past four years. As McGraw-Hill continues its portfolio review, I will work closely with the leadership team to find ways to create even more shareholder value.” About four-year ago, in August 2007, Deven had taken over as President of S&P and in the coming few days, he is going to be replaced. The company’s statement did not mention the August 5 downgrade of U.S. Yet many analysts suggested that Deven was a victim of the bold call he made on downgrade.
Closer home in Dhanbad, Deven Sharma’s father, R.N. Sharma, does not believe his son’s impending exit has anything to do with the downgrade. The former chairman of Bharat Coking Coal Limited told the journalists, “There is some other issue. He was looking for something else, something new. Deven worked with S&P for long, since 2007, and knew he would not continue with them any longer.” Deven did his schooling from Dhanbad and then he got his bachelor’s degree from the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in Business Management from Ohio State University. He worked at Booz Allen Hamilton for 14 years before he moved to McGraw-Hill in 2002, then he went on to become President S&P in 2007.
Now he is getting ready for fresher career challenges and we wish him luck for his future assignment. Hopefully, his new job would not involve analyzing and rating his Jharkhand State Administration, we wonder what would be his rating for decade long Governance in Jharkhand?
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