Currently, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s give the United States the highest possible credit rating. But that could change if America’s financial health continues to deteriorate. From the Wall Street Journal’s Nathalie Boschat, Mark Brown, and Mark Gongloff on January 14:
With attention focused on sovereign-debt worries in Europe, two major credit-rating firms reminded investors again that the U.S. has debt problems of its own…
Moody’s Investors Service said in a report on Thursday that the U.S. will need to reverse the expansion of its debt if it hopes to keep its “Aaa” 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,” Sarah Carlson, senior analyst at Moody’s, said.
Separately, Carol Sirou, head of Standard & Poor’s France, told a Paris conference on Thursday that the firm couldn’t rule out lowering the outlook for the U.S. rating in the future.
“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, Ms. Sirou said. “But that may change.”
U.S. government debt has surged to an all-time high, topping $14 trillion, or $45,300 owed by each American.
Boschat, Nathalie, Brown, Mark, and Gongloff, Mark. “S&P, Moody’s Warn On U.S. Credit Rating.” Wall Street Journal. 14 Jan. 2011. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703583404576079311379009904.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_News_BlogsModule). 17 Jan. 2011.
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