The Chinese rating agency Dagong Global, which had already downgraded the United States’ debt, said on Thursday that it will lower the rating even further as soon as next week, regardless of whether there’s a deal.
“We will react soon, probably next Monday or Tuesday. We need to look at whether they reach a compromise and the scope of the compromise, then we decide how deep the rating cut will be,” Guan Jianzhong, the chairman of Dagong, told Reuters.
The agency said that it plans to downgrade U.S. credit regardless of whether lawmakers in Congress reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling, which the agency’s chairman said he expects to occur.
Dagong is a little known credit rating agency but is one of the few well-respected agencies outside of the United States. It has historically taking a bearish outlook on the U.S. economy and has been known to favor the Chinese economy.
Guan said that the debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling has inflicted sufficient damage on investor confidence that a compromise will have no effect on the credit rating besides preventing it being downgraded to a D.
Dagong has already downgraded the U.S. rating once, bumping it down to AA when the Federal Reserve announced that it would launch a program known as quantitative easing to stimulate markets. Dagong rates China as AA plus.
Guan said in an interview with Reuters that he believes China should hedge against further stimulus activity by the U.S., another round of quantitative easing for example, by decreasing its holdings in U.S. debt. China is currently America’s largest creditor and has parked just over a trillion dollars in U.S. bonds, according to Treasury Department figures.
Other credit rating agencies have issued warnings that they will downgrade the U.S. credit rating if lawmakers do not take action to reduce the U.S. debt. The three major U.S. credit rating agencies — Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch — have all said that they may issue a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.
S&P has issued the most dire warning and said that it may decrease the rating even if a debt-reduction deal is reached and the debt ceiling is reached. The agency has said that it would like to see a $4 trillion reduction in the U.S. debt with bipartisan support.
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