Dagong Downgrades Japan Local Currency Sovereign Rating To A+
Following years of inactivity it has now become cool to be the first rating agency to pull the trigger on another insolvent sovereign. After yesterday's downgrade of Greece by Moody's to Caa1, today Dagong decided to one up its American counterparts and downgrade the country with the 250% debt/GDP: Japan. From Xinhua: "Chinese ratings provider Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., on Thursday cut its rating for Japan's local and foreign currency sovereign credit by one level to A+ and AA- respectively. The rating agency said the downgrade took into consideration Japan's political situation, economy, fiscal revenue and expenditure, as well as debt revenue. Expecting a mild recovery of the Japanese economy and no significant deterioration of Japan's sovereign debt financing within the next 12 months, Dagong put the country's credit outlook as "stable."" As Richard Koo noted yesterday, the probability that the Japnese economic situation will deteriorate absent stimulus is very high. Unfortunately, the problem is that since there is little to no spare money available "out there" the ability to kick the can down the road with another Keynesian band aid is severly limited. Expect to see many more downgrades of Japan, and not just Dagong, before the year is over.
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