Oct. 15 - Ratings agency Fitch says America's highly-coveted triple-A credit rating is in jeopardy as lawmakers squander the chance to lift the debt limit and avoid a default. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Fitch issues a stern warning to U.S. lawmakers dithering in Washington over the debt ceiling: America's Triple-A credit rating is in jeopardy! Although Fitch chides U.S. authorities for dragging their feet, it believes the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling will be raised soon, quickly adding the risk of default is elevated due to "political brinksmanship." If Fitch was to actually lower that rating, it would join Standard and Poor's, which cut America to a Double-A during the last debt stand-off in 2011. Stock futures quickly sold off in after-hours trading, adding to Wall Street's first plunge in five sessions, as the warning steps up pressure on U.S. lawmakers. Pressure that has been mounting as the clock ticks towards the October 17th deadline. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher: SOUNDBITE: DALLAS FED PRESIDENT RICHARD FISHER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "First I think they will get their act together because I don't think any President of the United States - Republican or Democrat, I don't think any member or leader of Congress wants to go down in the history books because it's the only thing they'll be remembered, because despite all their other achievements or whatever they didn't achieve - is having a default on the full faith and credit of the United States for the most important currency of the most important economy in the entire world." Even if the U.S. avoids a default, a Fitch downgrade, would force bond fund managers to dump U.S. government debt, which would still wreak havoc on global markets.