Things More Worrisome than AGW: US Debt Crisis Deepens
Source: Yahoo News
“I think the most pressing issue facing the U.S. at the moment is to reflect on the crisis which happened in relation with the debt ceiling,” Guan said. “They should get a clear understanding that the continuous decline of the debt service capability will inevitably result in the outbreak of a sovereign debt crisis.”
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Standard & Poor’s US debt downgrade was a wake-up call for the world, a commentary in a top Chinese state newspaper said, adding that Asian exporters faced special risks.
Citing economist Sun Lijian, the People’s Daily on Sunday said Standard & Poor’s Friday cut to the US’ credit rating from the top notch triple-A to AA+ had “sounded the alarm bell for the dollar-denominated global monetary system”.
The comments carried in the Communist Party mouthpiece follow a stinging attack launched by the official Xinhua news agency on Saturday, which said Beijing had “every right” to demand Washington safeguard Chinese dollar assets.
China — which sat on the world’s biggest foreign exchange reserves of around $3.20 trillion as of the end of June — is the largest foreign holder of US Treasuries.
Sun, vice head of the School of Economics at Shanghai’s Fudan University — one of China’s top universities — warned that the biggest victim of the downgrade would not necessarily be the United States but countries that depended on external demand to build national wealth.
“No matter whether these are Asian countries that rely on exports of merchandise, or Latin American, Middle Eastern countries and nations such as Russia that depend on exports of natural resources,” he was quoted as saying.
“All of these may face risks that the US debt they hold will fall in value, leading to a deterioration in liquidity.”
The Chinese government has yet to comment publicly on the downgrade.
But in its Saturday commentary, Xinhua said Washington needed to “come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone.”
“To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to re-establish the common sense principle that one should live within its means,” it added.
The downgrade came after the White House, Democratic and Republican lawmakers finally agreed to a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, after months of wrangling which sent jitters through the global economy.
S&P argued that politicians in Washington were becoming less able to get to grips with the country’s huge fiscal deficit and debt load.
The ratings agency also gave a negative outlook for the US, saying there was a chance its rating could be cut again within two years if progress is not made to cut the government budget gap.