Tag Archives: Downrade

Standard and Poor’s: there may be more downgrades

From CNBC.

Excerpt:

Standard & Poor’s may downgrade the long-term credit rating of the U.S. once again in less than three months after sending shockwaves through the bond and stock markets by stripping the nation of its top notch triple-A rating last week, according to an emergency Sunday night conference call for clients of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“We do expect further downgrades,” said Ethan Harris, North American economist, on the call. “We doubt the newly appointed bipartisan commission will come up with a credible long-term deficit reduction plan. Hence by November or December we would not be surprised to see S&P downgrade the debt again from AA-plus to AA.”

Harris said that the U.S. should have avoided the downgrade in the first place by meeting S&P’s demands of a $4 trillion deficit cut and a “demonstrating a sensible budget process.” What they got instead was a “deficit cut of $2.1 trillion and a budget process that’s been extremely chaotic,” said Harris.

[…]”If a disorderly Treasury market leads to the Fed embarking on QE3, repercussions for the dollar will be catastrophic,” said David Woo, head of global rates and currencies research, on the call. “Investors will be quick to conclude that U.S. monetary policy has been subjugated by fiscal policy and the Fed’s independence would be placed seriously into question.”

In other news, Estonia has actually received a recent debt rating UPGRADE:

In the midst of a world embroiled in economic turmoil, a few nations have managed to do surprisingly well—among them, Estonia. After near economic collapse during the 2008–2009 financial crisis, the country has managed to successfully bounce backwith substantial GDP growth, a vibrant trade environment, and a notable budget surplus.

During the first quarter of this year, Estonia had the highest rate of growth in the EU and the biggest drop in unemployment. In July, its credit rating was raised by Fitch to A+, a reflection of substantial economic growth.

But how did Estonia get here? Estonia possesses a flexible, open economy and investment climate that encourages competition and economic growth. It remains one of the world’s freest economies, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. However, prudent fiscal policies have played the largest role in Estonia’s impressive economic performance, particularly in recent years. Still, the path to fiscal conservatism was not easy; it required a lot of rigorous, painful cutback involving 9 percent of GDP in fiscal adjustments and large cuts to nominal wages.

Notice that Estonia’s economic policies are tea party conservative policies, not socialist policies.

Meanwhile, the White House has yet to respond to our first credit downgrade.

Calls for Geithner resignation in wake of credit downgrade

Obama Budget Deficit 2011
Obama Budget Deficit 2011

First, some details about the recent downgrade of America’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.

Excerpt:

Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time, dealing a symbolic blow to the world’s economic superpower in what was a sharply worded critique of the American political system.

Lowering the nation’s rating to one notch below AAA, the credit rating company said “political brinkmanship” in the debate over the debt had made the U.S. government’s ability to manage its finances “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” It said the bipartisan agreement reached this week to find at least $2.1 trillion in budget savings “fell short” of what was necessary to tame the nation’s debt over time and predicted that leaders would not be likely to achieve more savings in the future.

[…]The downgrade to AA+ will push the global financial markets into uncharted territory after a volatile week fueled by concerns over a worsening debt crisis in Europe and a faltering economy in the United States.The AAA rating has made the U.S. Treasury bond one of the world’s safest investments — and has helped the nation borrow at extraordinarily cheap rates to finance its government operations, including two wars and an expensive social safety net for retirees.

Treasury bonds have also been a stalwart of stability amid the economic upheaval of the past few years. The nation has had a AAA rating for 70 years.

Analysts say that, over time, the downgrade could push up borrowing costs for the U.S. government, costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year. It could also drive up interest rates for consumers and companies seeking mortgages, credit cards and business loans.

A downgrade could also have a cascading series of effects on states and localities, including nearly all of those in the Washington metro area. These governments could lose their AAA credit ratings as well, potentially raising the cost of borrowing for schools, roads and parks.

Jim Demint responds by calling for Tim Geithner’s resignation.

Excerpt:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) responded to the nation’s downgrade at the hands of Standard & Poor’s by calling for the resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Saying “enough is enough,” the Tea Party favorite pressured President Obama to remove his top economic official and adopt a new perspective.

“The President should demand that Secretary Geithner resign and immediately replace him with someone who will help Washington focus on balancing our budget and allowing the private sector to create jobs,” he said in a statement. “For months he opposed all efforts to reduce the debt in return for a debt ceiling increase. His opposition to serious spending and debt reforms has been reckless and now the American people will pay the price.”

After S&P put the nation’s rating on negative watch back in April, Geithner said there was “no risk” the US would be downgraded.

“No risk of that, no risk,” he said at the time in an interview with Fox Business Network.

Yes, there is no risk the same way that the 864 billion stimulus was supposed to keep unemployment below 8% – except that unemployment shot up over 10%.

I saw this status update from a friend on Facebook:

If you don’t understand the current financial crisis in our country, here’s a simplified explanation: “If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year, & have $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand.” – Dave Ramsey

The Obama administration has had three one-and-a-half trillion dollar deficits in a row. That is nearly TEN TIMES the last Republican budget deficit in 2007. That was the last year that the Republicans held the House and Senate. The last year before Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid came into power.