August 10th, 2011
12:53 PM ET

Single mom lets fly at Wall Street, downgrades S&P with her own pink slip

A lot of people are ticked about the U.S. economy.

There’s the torpid pace of job growth, the plummeting markets and the partisan gridlock that Standard and Poor’s cited in downgrading the nation’s debt last week.

But at whom do you lash out? Where do you vent? Is there a feasible way to convey your angst to the myriad players responsible for landing the U.S. in this financial morass?

Lucy Nobbe apparently thinks so.

The Kirkwood, Missouri, securities executive and single mother rented a plane to fly over Wall Street towing a banner that read, “Thanks for the downgrade. You should all be fired.”

Nobbe originally wanted to fly the sign over Washington, she told CNN affiliate KSDK-TV in St. Louis, but there’s a no-fly zone over the nation’s capital.

She instead came up with what Justin Jaye of called an “excellent Plan B, for sure: Hit Wall Street and then downtown New York, the Statue of Liberty, New York harbor.”

American Banker magazine tweeted shortly after lunchtime Tuesday that the plane “just buzzed past the S&P office in Lower Manhattan.”

S&P, of course, is the rating agency that downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, sparking considerable consternation among politicians and pundits alike.

Because she works in the securities business, Nobbe understands well the repercussions of being downgraded, she said. The S&P move made her angry. The idea to speak up came to her in her sleep.

“I was at a party Saturday night and I was ranting and raving about the downgrade, woke up in the middle of the night, saying I’m going to hire an airplane,” she told KSDK.

She said it seemed like a not-so-costly way to have her message broadcast. Several media outlets reported Nobbe paid $1,200 for the two-hour aerial admonition, but Nobbe told KSDK that was so impressed by her moxie that she got a discount on the $900 fee for the service.

“It feels pretty good just because a lot of times I think those things, but I don’t do it, and this time I actually did it,” Nobbe said.

Her daughter is glad her mother took a stand, according to the TV station.

“She’s very different from other moms, and I’m really proud of her because she does stand up for what she really wants,” Holly Nobbe, 11, told KSDK. “I’m really glad to have a mom like that.”

Lucy Nobbe joins a colorful cast of folks who recently have gone to unorthodox measures to let the government know their thoughts on its perceived missteps. A couple of classics come to mind.

Remember Sharon Keeter of Raleigh, North Carolina, who paid a $350 fine in pennies, nickels and dimes to protest what she thought was a ludicrous penalty for failing to mow the lawn at a home she owned? Police were summoned, but Keeter stood her ground and made city officials count the coins. It took two hours.

Or how about when the Incredible Hulk, Superman, Darth Vader and other “Superfriends” converged on City Hall to demonstrate against Los Angeles banning costumed characters on Hollywood streets?

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Filed under: Economy • Finance • Missouri • New York • Protest • U.S.
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. the prophet

    It doesn’t matter who…..what is coming will affect all of us….

    August 11, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. jay lee

    A great nation built by Men, ruined by bickering politicians making "compromises" and nitwit mommies venting their "feelings." We are not citizens, but a generation of consumer ninnies, the product of public education intended to teach corporate loyalty rather than critical thinking and common sense. We not only repeat past mistakes, we make worse ones because we know nothing of history either. Prior generations of Americans would be shocked and appalled. Never have we needed the cool, calm, rational resolve and common sense of our Fathers more.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • dgkdgk

      Yo go, girl!

      August 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. what the....

    this is a joke, right? So she hires someone to fly a plane over Wall Street...big fricking whoop! It's not like her message is going to amount to any change; after all, everyone, including the people on Wall Street and in Washington, knows that the "common men" are livid at elected officials and Wall Street brokers for their part in destroy the economy. Yet, that knowledge hasn't inspired these people to change, and a big banner rehashing this message certainly will not inspire them to change either.
    And what's even more ridiculous is that she spent $1200 on this venture. Are you serious?? Talk about a misuse of funds. And people want to vote her into office and consider her an "American hero"...get real people! She not only achieved nothing from this venture, but she also wasted a good sum of money doing so. She just earned herself a great deal of attention by reiterating a message that is already very well known.

    If you want to send a real message to Congress, vote these ineffective "leaders" out of Congress! We need to instill a culture of collaboration in Washington. We should not encourage or play a part in this pointless, unrelenting bickering between two uncompromising parties. Because, we can argue as much as we want about the cause of our current economic predicament (whether it's the tea party, or republicans, or democrats, or the president, or whatever), but the bottom line is that it was BOTH PARTIES that allowed us to get into this mess.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • KV

      You are wrong about her voicing her opinion. If you have a voice then use it. The fact that things haven't changed any is all the more reason to repeat the message. American Hero: maybe not, but responsible American citizen: absolutely.

      August 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MedicM50

    S&P's downgrade of the US credit rating should be considered treason since it was done in time of war. The downgrade directly affects the ability of the United States to finance the war, which impedes the ability of the United States to fight the war.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jalm52

      Instead of trying for treason the people who tell the truth about the fiscal condition of your benighted third world dictatorship, how about if we try for treason the politicians who created that condition? And while we're at it, the voters who chose them. Are you one of them? Do you prefer hanging, or firing squad?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rb3331

    WTG Mom!! We all vent in our own way! At least she got all our attention with her innovative idea! Like it or not, nice to see a way to make politicians look "up" for a change!

    August 11, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lance

    I literally would have paid for a follow up plane with "Where was your diligent hard nosed approach during the creation of the mortgage crisis??? IDIOTS!!! Someone needs to create a website looking for donations to fund planes flying overhead every day. "Thanks for the economic turmoil you politically charged IDIOTS"

    August 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pat

    I applaud her...who cares how she got her message across? At least she did something instead of whining and complaining like everyone does on these least she didn't incite a riot or hurt anyone...she is my hero!!

    August 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kenrick Benjamin

    I just have one question, What would happened to anyone of us if we made a 2 trillion dollar Mistake.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bigrig

    I enjoyed reading somewhere that China stated "no more free ride" for us because of the downgrade. Ironic given that our credit rating is STILL higher than China's!

    August 14, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. Anthony Stark

    The people on Wall Street are supposed to make money. That's their job and they do it well. They shorted the market a couple of weeks ago, then turned around and bought back the same stocks they shorted for cheap while the media panicked. They government is to blame for their failure to regulate this. But wait? You guys don't want the government to regulate anything. You don't save money, you don't invest you take out high interest loans for things you don't need and then get mad at Obama for not giving you a job. You must be idiots.

    August 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cheap Towing

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but usually folks don't speak about these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

    March 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |

    People really need to express how they feel. We should be careful though, and be fully aware and responsible for the effects of our actions.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Anthony

    Want to make people visit a blog and don't know how. Also can you give me a good blogging site that people visit a lot. Do they visit your blog within the blog site or externally?? Thanks..

    May 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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