When Standard and Poor's decided to downgrade U.S. credit for the first time in history on Friday, it set off a firestorm of commentary, bringing out passionate views of all varieties from some of the most famous minds in business and economics. All that was missing was something vaguely resembling a consensus.
Among those critical of the move, reasons include the country's continued ability to print money or the math on which S&P justified its decision. For others, like PIMCO's Bill Gross, the downgrade is to be applauded, as it is one of the few ways to impose "some discipline" on an otherwise unchecked political structure.
Still others, namely Alan Greenspan, seemed surprised by the commotion stirred. "It's having a much profounder effect than I conceive could happen," he said soon after the downgrade. Paul Krugman himself wrote with characteristic defiance, lambasting the attention paid to S&P's decision. "There is no reason to take Friday's downgrade of America seriously," he wrote in a column.
Still, it's Christina Romer, former Obama economic adviser, that takes the cake in the sound bite department. Asked to describe the U.S. economy after the downgrade, she needed only three words: "Pretty darn f*cked."
Here are some of the biggest reactions from big-name voices in business and economics: