Monday, August 08, 2011

It's getting ugly (except for oil & gold)...


After S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday after the markets closed, the Dow (and other markets) take another dump.

Since the July 21 high of 12747, the Dow is now currently at 11125. That's a 13% drop in just two and a half weeks! Oil has dropped to $83/barrel (one bright spot in all of this) while Gold breached the $1700 threshold (another bright spot IF you invested in gold).

Ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Monday warned it might also downgrade the U.S. government'scredit rating if its planned measures to reduce its budget deficitturned out to be not "credible" after all.

In his first comments after the move by rival rating agency S&P, Moody's analyst Steven Hess sounded a note of caution about Moody's rating of the U.S., repeating that the August 2 plan to cut deficits by $2.1 trillion was positive for the U.S. credit standing, but not enough to keep its rating on a stable outlook...

..."If the process for further deficit reduction that is included in the budget control act produces results that are not really credible, that combined with the economic performance could potentially cause an early move on the rating," Hess told Reuters in an interview.

Meanwhile, today S&P downgraded Frannie Mae & Freddie Mac, and others:

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other agencies linked to long-term U.S. debt.

The agency also lowered the ratings for: farm lenders; long-term U.S. government-backed debt issued by 32 banks and credit unions; and three major clearinghouses, which are used to execute trades of stocks, bonds and options.

All the downgrades were from AAA to AA+, reflecting the same downgrade S&P made of long-term U.S. government debt on Friday.

The S&P head stated that:

"The key thing is, yes, entitlement reform is important because entitlements are the biggest component of spending, and the part of spending where the cost pressures are greatest."

...the agreement last week to reduce the nation's debt by at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years "fell well short" of comprehensive reforms that some had advocated.
Via Hot Air, Rick Santelli (he of Feb '09 fame who's impromptu on-camera CNBC rant sparked the Tea Party movement) says, "they're still not listening":

UPDATE: Dow now down 523 points just for today! That's almost 15% down since July 21.

UPDATE#2: The markets closed with the Dow down to 10810. So, in just 13 business days the Dow has gone down 15.2%, the S&P down 16.4%, and the NASDAQ down 17.5%.

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