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Rating Agencies Mixed on US Ahead of Fiscal Cliff

Fitch Ratings warned that the U.S. may be downgraded next year unless lawmakers avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner, while Moody’s Investors Service said it will wait to see the economic impact should the nation experience a fiscal shock.

Congress and President Barack Obama must confront more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect in 2013 or risk the economy tipping back into recession. Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating on Aug. 5, 2011, after months of political wrangling that pushed the nation to the deadline an agreement to lift the debt ceiling.

The U.S. rating depends on “a stabilization and then a downward trend in the ratio of federal debt” to gross domestic product next year, according to a Moody’s statement. Fitch also said that the nation may lose its AAA ranking next year if the government fails to reduce the deficit.

Moody’s would likely “await evidence that the economy could rebound from the shock” of the U.S. falling off the fiscal cliff before considering restoring the nation’s stable outlook from negative, according to the company’s statement.

via Businessweek [1]

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza [6]

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse [7]
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza