The stock market is taking a big hit today on the announcement that Standard and Poors downgraded its outlook for its credit rating on U.S. debt. Bend financial advisor Bill Valentine with Valentine Ventures, believes the warning is a good thing because it elevates the dialogue and makes it more likely that politicians will make large policy changes to head off a problem: “It will help people who don't have the slightest background in economics or fiscal policy to appreciate that there's a growing problem. When you see the stock market react negatively, that's the emotional response. To the average Oregonian this is just another warning call, a shot across the bow of the federal government that something must be done. This is not your father's recession; we can't make cyclical fixes and accounting changes to solve our deficit problems; this is a structural problem.” Valentine says this problem is arguably 70 years in the making. Standard and Poors says there's about a 33% chance it will actually downgrade the country's AAA rating sometime during the next two years.