The Washington Times - August 6, 2011, 01:20AM

Standard and Poor downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in the country’s history. The announcement came on Friday night. According to S & P:

We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.

• We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.

• The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

• More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

• Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.

• The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

SEE RELATED:


It should be noted that The Hill reported in April that U.S Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said that the U.S. was not at risk of losing it’s top credit rating: 

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday there is “no risk” the U.S. will lose its top credit rating amid a new analysis that revised its outlook on American debt to “negative.”

Geithner took to the airwaves of financial news networks to push back against a report Monday by Standard & Poor’s that lowered its outlook on U.S. debt to “negative,” reflecting political uncertainty over whether lawmakers will reach an agreement to address long-term debt. 

There is no chance that the U.S. will lose its top credit rating, Geithner said, forcefully disputing the notion that S&P or other ratings services might downgrade U.S. bonds from their current AAA rating.

“No risk of that, no risk,” Geithner said on the Fox Business Network

The Treasury Department is reportedly responding that there is a $2 trillion calculation error in the S & P analysis.