The same companies that rated Big Shitpile as AAA investments at the insistence of the same bankers peddling the crap is now insisting that the U.S. “do something” about our deficit, or we won’t be able to borrow. (Gee, I wonder who’s paying them now.)
LONDON—Two leading credit rating agencies on Thursday cautioned the U.S. on its credit rating, expressing concern over a deteriorating fiscal situation that they say needs correction.
Moody’s Investors Service said in a report Thursday that the U.S. will need to reverse an upward trajectory in the debt ratios to support its triple-A rating.
“We have become increasingly clear about the fact that if there are not offsetting measures to reverse the deterioration in negative fundamentals in the U.S., the likelihood of a negative outlook over the next two years will increase,” said Sarah Carlson, senior analyst at Moody’s.
Standard & Poor’s Corp. on Thursday also didn’t rule out changing the outlook for its U.S. sovereign-debt rating because of the recent deterioration of the country’s fiscal situation. The U.S. currently has a triple-A rating with a stable outlook at both agencies.
“The view of markets is that the U.S. will continue to benefit from the exorbitant privilege linked to the U.S. dollar” to fund its deficits, Carol Sirou, head of S&P France, said at a Paris conference Thursday. “But that may change. We can’t rule out changing the outlook” on the U.S. sovereign debt rating in the future, she warned. She added the jobless nature of the U.S. recovery was one of the biggest threats to the U.S. economy. “No triple-A rating is forever,” she said.
Moody’s said the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K. still have debt metrics, including the debt affordability, compatible with their triple-A ratings at Moody’s. But all four countries must bring the future costs arising from pension and healthcare subsidies under control if they “are to maintain long-term stability in their debt burden credit metrics,” Moody’s said in its regular triple-A Sovereign Monitor report.
As economist Dean Baker points out, these are the same companies that downgraded Japan’s debt — S&P back in 2001 and Moody’s in 1998 by Moody’s. “The interest rate on Japan’s 10-year Treasury bonds is currently a bit over 1.0 percent. Clearly the downgrading by these credit rating agencies have no had much effect on Japan’s ability to borrow.”