Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the sterling U.S. credit rating for the first time.
The move came even though the Treasury Department said that it had found a math error in the firm’s calculations of deficit projections, according to a person familiar with the matter.
S&P decided to lower the AAA rating, held by the United States for 70 years, to AA+ after a bipartisan debt deal signed into law this week failed to assuage concerns about the nation’s growing spending.
Analysts have said a downgrade could increase the cost of borrowing for the U.S. government and lead to tens of billions of dollars in more interest costs per year. That could translate into higher borrowing for consumers and businesses, too.
A downgrade would also have a cascading series of effects on states and localities that rely on federal funding, including in the Washington metro area, potentially raising the cost of borrowing for schools and parks.
But the exact impact of the downgrade won’t be known at least until Sunday night, when Asian markets open, and perhaps not fully grasped for months. Analysts say the immediate term impact is likely to be modest because the markets have been expecting a downgrade by S&P for weeks.
You know what we need? More liberalism.