S&P gives PH elections investment-grade ratingBy Rene Ciria-Cruz
INQUIRER.net US Bureau
NEW YORK (Bloomberg)—Top ratings organization S&P has given Philippine elections a first-ever investment grade rating, despite the chronic failure of electronic voting machines and sporadic incidents of violence.
S&P, a nationally recognized ratings organization (NSRO), based its valuation on the results of the recent midterm polls, inaugurating a new category in market capitalization appraisal.
This new valuation category is the political equivalent of credit ratings used by NSROs, including Moody’s and Fitch, to grade municipal or corporate bonds’ risk of default. Bonds with low risk of failure are declared “investment grade.”
Elections that guarantee low-risk yet optimum ROIs (return on investment) for powerbrokers and their capital sources should also be declared “investment grade,” according to S&P (Stranded & Poor’s).
“And Philippine elections earn the distinction with flying colors,” says S&P lead analyst Cora Upschoen.
Low risk, high yield
“Many winnables won through traditional methods favorable to future seekers of high-yield out-of-pocket preferential linkages with newly elected policy originators,” states Upschoen.
And WTF does that mean in plain language? “Ah, you guys just elected many officials who love favor seekers looking for profitable connections,” Upschoen explains.
Moreover, “the positive outlook of the Filipino electorate moderates volatility and diminishes reliance on disruptive leveraging, such as people power and similarly eruptive instruments of exchange,” adds Upschoen. Okay. Huh. Didn’t know that.
“Of course, the 500 to 3,000-peso market rate per vote may have had something to do with the electorate’s upbeat mood.”
“That low base-priced front load,” Upschoen explains, “enables candidates to look forward to a high net expense reimbursement ratio–in other words, the winners and their financial backers will easily get their money back and more, way more. Way, way more.”
Hyperbolic risk aversion
S&P also rated the types of candidates who are “hyperbolic absolute risk averse,” or sure winners.
“Family-run or clan operations, often based on hereditary holdings in agricultural real estate and/or commercial assets are AAA+ or absolutely risk free,” says the S&P report.
Meanwhile, the lower but still excellent AAA rating is for spouses of newly minted tycoons with links to “infrastructure diversion projects” and secret offshore bank accounts.
Movie stars and celebrities who herd voters to the ballot box like so much sheep are in this category, too. Also AAA are inexperienced debate-averse family members who hang on to Daddy’s coattails and specialize in motorcades.
Also Triple A are pardoned or unpardoned ex-president grafters and family members of a dead dictator who also have secret offshore trust funds. In her own category of AAA! is the decomposing wife of the dead dictator who, better than Dracula, keeps coming back even in the glare of daylight.
Limited liability candidates
Rated BBB are LLCs or “limited liability candidates.” They have liabilities but they still win. Among them are local warlords, gambling bosses, massacre suspects, unopposed convicted rapists, drug users who are still in jail, murder suspects who are still at large and various well-connected felons.
But initial public offerings running on principles and platform, or “high-values aspirants” don’t even rate, according to Stranded & Poor’s. “They may need better marketing, like more motorcades, perky dance routines and karaoke prowess perhaps,” observes Upschoen.
As for traditional power centers, S&P rated only one, the much-vaunted Catholic Vote. The good news: S&P gave the Catholic Vote a “C-“ rating, which is the equivalent of “junk bonds.”
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