"We have become increasingly clear about the fact that if there are not offsetting measures to reverse the deterioration in negative fundamentals in the U.S., the likelihood of a negative outlook over the next two years will increase," said Sarah Carlson, senior analyst at Moody's.Another:
Standard & Poor's Corp. also didn't rule out changing the outlook for its U.S. sovereign-debt rating because of the recent deterioration of the country's fiscal situation. The U.S. has a triple-A rating with a stable outlook at both raters.
"The view of markets is that the U.S. will continue to benefit from the exorbitant privilege linked to the U.S. dollar" to fund its deficits, Carol Sirou, head of S&P France, said at a conference in Paris on Thursday. "But that may change. We can't rule out changing the outlook" on the U.S. sovereign debt rating in the future, she warned. She added the jobless nature of the U.S. recovery was one of the biggest threats to the U.S. economy. "No triple-A rating is forever," she said.
South Korea would be within its rights to retaliate if North Korea mounts an attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday, but the United States wants Seoul and its neighbors to try to head off a North Korean provocation that could lead to war.A mass shooting by a deranged, sick individual like Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson is a sad event, but it has zero economic or geopolitical/strategic impact. We are fiddling while Rome burns.
The United States fears that the risk of war is rising between U.S. ally South Korea and the heavily militarized and increasingly unpredictable regime in North Korea, which the Pentagon also considers a looming threat to the mainland United States.
"It's a long-standing principle that every country has the right to protect itself and defend itself against an unprovoked attack," Gates said following discussions with Japanese political leaders keyed to the rising threat of war on the Korean peninsula.
Earlier this week Gates lobbied China to pressure the North not to go too far. Gates will go to South Korea on Friday for a quick and hastily arranged crisis session about the North.