Standard & Poor's recent downgrade of the U.S. government's credit rating, following lengthy, contentious budget negotiations in Washington, has ruffled the feathers of pundits and ordinary Americans alike.
Many professional critics, including former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich have asked where S&P's vigilance was four years ago when it granted triple-A ratings to risky mortgage-backed securities, the type of investments which eventually led to the financial crisis in 2008.
Then there are others who are simply angry with the nation's bumbling politicians for waiting until the last minute to strike a debt deal, which -- to add insult to injury -- few Americans like, as a recent Washington Post poll noted.
Those who disapprove of the legislation that was signed into law, just a day before the nation was headed for default, outnumber those who back it, with a majority of survey respondents saying that they "somewhat oppose" or "strongly oppose" the deal.
Count among those strong opponents a St. Louis woman so fed up with the dysfunction in Washington that she flew a plane over New York City on Tuesday morning, towing a banner that said: "Thanks For The Downgrade. You Should All Be Fired."
Observers who first spied the plane over Lower Manhattan thought the message was aimed at S&P. But as The New York Observer reported, the woman -- a single mother of two from St. Louis -- originally intended to fly the plane over Washington to express her dismay with politicians, but learned that wasn't possible because of airspace restrictions.
News reports identified her as 51-year-old Lucy Nobbe, who works from her home as a municipal bond trader.
Nobbe told St. Louis radio station KMOX that her message wasn't aimed at a particular political party, but rather toward all of Congress after the nation was brought to the brink of default last week, as well as S&P's downgrade of the nation's credit rating.
"This is just ridiculous," Nobbe said. "And I think the downgrade was mostly about bad behavior in Congress, and how they can't compromise and can't get along."
The plane cost Nobbe $895, she said, noting that she hadn't done anything nearly so drastic in the past.
"But," Nobbe said, "I was just so fed up with people acting like children in politics."
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