The Straits Times

China ratings house says US defaulting
The Straits Times

A CHINESE ratings house has accused the United States of defaulting on its massive debt, state media said on Friday, a day after Beijing urged Washington to put its fiscal house in order.

‘In our opinion, the United States has already been defaulting,’ Guan Jianzhong, president of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co Ltd, the only Chinese agency that gives sovereign ratings, was quoted by the Global Times saying.

Washington had already defaulted on its loans by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies – eroding the wealth of creditors including China, Mr Guan said.

The US government will run out of room to spend more on August 2 unless Congress bumps up the borrowing limit beyond US$14.29 trillion (S$17.57 trillion) – but Republicans are refusing to support such a move until a deficit cutting deal is reached.

Ratings agency Fitch on Wednesday joined Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s to warn the United States could lose its first-class credit rating if it fails to raise its debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on loans.

A downgrade could sharply raise US borrowing costs, worsening the country’s already dire fiscal position, and send shock waves through the financial world, which has long considered US debt a benchmark among safe-haven investments.