07 Aug '11, 6pm

Fresh credit warnings as US lawmakers trade blame

WASHINGTON: Standard & Poor's warned on Sunday that there was a one in three chance of a further US credit downgrade, as lawmakers traded blame for the failure to rein in the country's massive debt. The ratings agency docked the United States from a sterling AAA to a AA+ rating on Friday largely because of the failure of bitterly divided US leaders to reach a consensus on containing the country's spiralling debt. "If the fiscal position of the United States deteriorates further, or if the political gridlock becomes more entrenched, then that could lead to (another) downgrade," S&P ratings head John Chambers told ABC television. "The outlook indicates at least a one in three chance of a downgrade" over the next six to 24 months, he said on the network's political talk show "This Week." He added that in the past it has taken countries nine to 18 years to regain a AAA rating,...

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