McGraw-Hill's Mystery Math: The Ticker

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By Jonathan Weil

Maybe the U.S. Treasury Department was onto something when it accused Standard & Poor's of getting its math wrong for downgrading the U.S.'s credit rating.

Check out this quote from today's press release announcing that Deven Sharma, 55, will step down as the ratings company's president next month: "It has been a privilege to serve as the president of S&P and I am proud of what we as an organization have achieved over the past four years. As McGraw-Hill continues its portfolio review, I will work closely with Terry and the leadership team to find ways to create even more shareholder value."

Now forgive me for being picky, but the words "even more" seem to suggest that shareholder value at McGraw-Hill Cos., the parent of S&P, is greater today than it was four years ago. On Aug. 23, 2007, McGraw-Hill's stock price was $50.35. This afternoon the stock was trading for $38.32.

(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist.)

-0- Aug/23/2011 18:30 GMT