A Downgrade Is Serious Business
Standard & Poor’s government-credit-ratings guru David Beers played his cards close to the vest on the topic of a U.S. downgrade in our CNBC interview this week. However, this head of S&P’s global sovereign-ratings business — with a staff of 80 covering 126 countries — issued three strong warnings to the debt-ceiling negotiators in Washington.
Beers avoided direct comments on any of the key debt-limit plans. But when I asked him about joint congressional committees that would report back with additional budget savings at the end of the year, he said, “Well, naturally, it’s going to raise questions . . . we would have to look at the balance of incentives and disincentives that might increase or decrease the probability of that type of approach being effective.”
In other words, both the Harry Reid plan and the John Boehner plan could contribute to a downgrade this summer since it’s uncertain whether joint committees will get the necessary votes for large-scale budget cuts and deficit reduction by year-end. There are no guarantees.
Read my full column here.