The Straits Times
Published on Sep 12, 2012

Moody's warns it could lower US triple-A rating


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Moody's warned on Tuesday it could strip the United States of its triple-A rating if Congress fails to cut the federal debt burden, a year after Standard & Poor's took away the country's top-notch mark.

"Budget negotiations during the 2013 Congressional legislative session will likely determine the direction of the US government's Aaa rating and negative outlook," the ratings firm said in a statement.

If the negotiations lead to specific policies that produce a stabilisation and then downward trend in the ratio of federal debt to GDP over the medium term, the Aaa rating will likely be affirmed and the outlook returned to stable, it said.

"If those negotiations fail to produce such policies, however, Moody's would expect to lower the rating, probably to Aa1," the ratings agency said.