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Debt Downgrade

Traders say downgrade overshadowed by economic slowdown

Marketplace Staff Aug 8, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Analysts say the actual downgrade of U.S. debt will eventually make it more expensive for the U.S. government to borrow — making it more expensive for you and I to borrow for a home loan or a car loan. But what are the wider implications on the financial market?

Marketplace’s New York Bureau Chief Heidi Moore is with us now to talk about that part of the story. Good morning, Heidi.

HEIDI MOORE: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: All right, so we’re 37 minutes from Wall Street opening. How are traders likely to react?

MOORE: Duck and cover. We’re probably going to see a lot of action from the stock markets — today, this week, maybe even this month. But, the core issues that we’re dealing with here are really long-term and whether today is the quote-en-quote apocalypse or not — we are actually walking into something like an apocalypse. Over the next three, six, even nine months, we’re going to be dealing with an economy that is worse than is expected, you know, a whole changing global picture that’s not what we wanted — and those are the real big issues, rather than just whether stocks moved right now.

CHIOTAKIS: Big issues — so, what are investors most worried about, Heidi?

MOORE: Well, they’re really worried about economic growth in the U.S. — where is it going to come from and we probably will have to raise taxes to get this budget deficit. I talked to Jim Sarni. He’s a bond fund manager at Payden & Rygel, and I asked him is he still going to buy Treasury Bonds. This is what he said.

JIM SARNI: I think that’s really the key here. I don’t believe that this downgrade by S&P changed investors perceptions of the creditworthiness of the U.S.

MOORE: So, he’s going to keep buying them — and people are still putting their trust in us, but the truth now is that we have these huge problems, we have to deal with over months and years from now.

CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace’s Heidi Moore in New York. Heidi, thanks.

MOORE: Thank you.

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