Sunday, August 7, 2011

What has Happened When Other Nations Lose Their AAA Rating?

Yes I know there are some differences.
Those other guys weren't the world's reserve currency.
They didn't have the largest enconomy on the globe.
They weren't headed by Barack Obama, Harry Reid and John Boehner.
On the screen, that last sentence isn't as positive as it sounded in my head.
From the Wall Street Journal:

Lessons of Lower Ratings
With the U.S. flirting with default and a credit-ratings downgrade, investors are once again in uncharted waters.
But while a default by a country with the global position of the U.S. would likely wreak havoc on financial markets, history suggests that losing a triple-A credit rating may not bring with it the big market disruptions that some fear.
Japan, Canada and Australia, among others, have suffered the ignominy of being downgraded from top credit ratings.

By and large, borrowing costs remained fairly steady and, in some instances, eventually declined. Stock markets wavered but generally rebounded, while the response in currency markets varied widely.
"When [a downgrade] happened in the past, was it the end of the world?" asks Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo & Co. "The reaction wasn't positive, but it wasn't extreme."

For the U.S., history suggests the outcome could even be a long-term positive if a downgrade prods policy makers to get the government's fiscal house in order.

While circumstances and economic paths differed, the impacts of the ratings change itself weren't significant, analysts say. One reason is that ratings changes are usually well-advertised in advance, allowing markets to adjust gradually. But more important for the markets than the ratings moves, analysts say, are the country's underlying economic trends....MORE
HT: this time I'm serious, check out MarketBeat's weekend-long liveblog