Chinese Agency Downgrades U.S. Credit Rating

Although President Obama signed a bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling yesterday, today a Chinese credit agency Dagong Global Credit Rating Company has downgraded its credit rating for the U.S. From CNN:

The Dagong Global Credit Rating Company, which lowered the United States to A+ last November after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to continue loosening its monetary policy, announced a further downgrade to A, indicating heightened doubts over Washington’s long-term ability to repay its debts.

It said the gloomy assessment — much lower than the AAA ratings given by the so-called “big three” Western agencies Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard and Poor’s — was inevitable given the level of market concern generated by the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans over the debt ceiling.

“The squabbling between the two political parties on raising the U.S. debt ceiling reflected an irreversible trend on the United States’ declining ability to repay its debts,” Dagong Chairman Guan Jianzhong told CNN.

“Our downgrade simply reflects reality,” Guan said. “Our rating didn’t cause China to lose any money — it was the inappropriately high ratings for the U.S. by Western agencies that had led China to make risky investments in U.S. debt.”

The Chinese government has also become more vocal in its criticisms of the U.S. government’s borrowing policies. From Bloomberg:

China, the largest foreign investor in U.S. government securities, joined Russia in criticizing American policy makers for failing to ensure borrowing is reined in after a stopgap deal to raise the nation’s debt limit.

People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said China’s central bank will monitor U.S. efforts to tackle its debt, and state-run Xinhua News Agency blasted what it called the “madcap” brinksmanship of American lawmakers. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said two days ago that the U.S. is in a way “leeching on the world economy.”

Currently the Chinese government holds $1.16 trillion in U.S. Treasuries securities.

August 3, 2011 11:17 AM
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Categories: Economy, Politics