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Raising the Debt Ceiling

Global markets relieved by tentative debt deal

Stephen Beard Aug 1, 2011
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Steve Chiotakis: The possible deal has, so far anyway, calmed investor nerves. There had been fears the global economy would be hit with another financial crisis if default happened in the U.S.

Marketplace’s Stephen Beard is here from London, with the latest now. Hi, Stephen.

Stephen Beard: Hello, Steve.

Chiotakis: I see global markets are up somewhat. But, to be honest, I expected jubilation — why not a bigger reaction?

Beard: Yeah, more a sigh of relief, I think, than a great whoop of delight and there’s a good reason for this. First of all, this is still not a done deal of course. It still has to be voted on by Congress. There’s another factor in all this. Mike Lenhoff is with the stock broker Bruin Dolphin says the proposed budget cuts won’t impress the likes of S&P, Fitch, and Moody’s.

Mike Lenhoff: They aren’t really near the kind of cuts the credit rating agencies wanted to see. So there is still the risk that we could see some downgrading in America’s credit rating.

Beard: And a cut in the U.S. credit rating could come as early as this week. That could hit investor confidence, further undermining the economic recovery. And that of course would be really bad for the global economy.

Chiotakis: It seems, Stephen, that markets always stress out about something. If the U.S. deal does end up passing, where does the attention turn?

Beard: Well, that’s a very good question. In fact, the spotlight is very likely to fall back again on Europe’s debt problems. And now the U.S. appears to have averted default, Europe’s debt crisis seems a whole lot worse.

Chiotakis: Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reporting from London. Stephen, thank you.

Beard: OK, Steve.

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