Moody's Puts US AAA Rating On Downgrade Review

Tyler Durden's picture

Moody's Places US Aaa Government Bond Rating and Related
Ratings on Review for Possible Downgrade

New York, July 13, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has
placed the Aaa bond rating of the government of the United States on review for
possible downgrade given the rising possibility that the statutory debt limit
will not be raised on a timely basis, leading to a default on US Treasury debt
obligations. On June 2, Moody's had announced that a rating review would be
likely in mid July unless there was meaningful progress in negotiations to
raise the debt limit.

In conjunction with this action, Moody's has placed on
review for possible downgrade the Aaa ratings of financial institutions
directly linked to the US government: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home
Loan Banks, and the Federal Farm Credit Banks. We have also placed on review
for possible downgrade securities either guaranteed by, backed by collateral
securities issued by, or otherwise directly linked to the US government or the
affected financial institutions.


The review of the US government's bond rating is prompted
by the possibility that the debt limit will not be raised in time to prevent a
missed payment of interest or principal on outstanding bonds and notes.

As such, there is a small but rising risk of a
short-lived default.

Moody's considers the probability of a default on
interest payments to be low but no longer to be de minimis. An actual default,
regardless of duration, would fundamentally alter Moody's assessment of the
timeliness of future payments, and a Aaa rating would likely no longer be
appropriate. However, because this type of default is expected to be
short-lived, and the expected loss to holders of Treasury bonds would be
minimal or non-existent, the rating would most likely be downgraded to
somewhere in the Aa range.

The specific rating that would be assigned at the
conclusion of the review once such a default is cured would depend on (1) the
speed with which the default is cured; (2) an assessment of the likely effect
on future borrowing costs; and (3) whether there is a change in process for
raising the debt limit that would preclude another default. A return to a Aaa
rating would be unlikely in the near term, particularly if there were no
progress on the third consideration.

While the debt limit has been raised numerous times in
the past, and sometimes the issue has been contentious, bond interest and
principal have always been paid on time. If the debt limit is raised again and
a default avoided, the Aaa rating would likely be confirmed. However, the
outlook assigned at that time to the government bond rating would very likely
be changed to negative at the conclusion of the review unless substantial and
credible agreement is achieved on a budget that includes long-term deficit
reduction. To retain a stable outlook, such an agreement should include a
deficit trajectory that leads to stabilization and then decline in the ratios
of federal government debt to GDP and debt to revenue beginning within the next
few years.

Moody's does not take a position on what measures should
be included in any deficit reduction package. Instead, it is the resultant
deficit and debt trajectories that are relevant to the rating and its outlook.

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Dolar in a vortex's picture

It's a cry for credibility.

Some people try suicide.

Maniac Researcher's picture

Since people both joke and seriously discuss apocalypse fantasy here on a daily basis, please entertain this fantasy: What happens if a new discovery, say from MIT or elsewhere, allows sunlight to be captured as heat energy cheaply and efficiently, prompting a boom in technological development? Would you still be whining about the value of the dollar or various bond ratings?

cougar_w's picture

What if monkeys flew out of my butt? That would be pretty cool, too.

Besides, if I want to capture sunlight as heat I don't need MIT for that. A brick wall painted black does fine.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Are you talking something smallish like a pygmy marmoset, or something bigger like a Mandrill monkey.  Could affect the coolness factor.  

Arius's picture

since we are dreaming ....

how about that $1 trillion in precious metals reserves discovered (at least claimed MIT researchers...) in Afganistan a year or two ago (it was good to smash precious metals for few hours..)? hey, if it only was true... that would be cool to smack it to ZH doomsayers .... still dreaming? ... yeah well

Arthor Bearing's picture

I wrote a poem for you guys, some day it will be a punk song:

We don't like your online blog
so we took your fucking job
confiscate your home and bed
because you post on zerohedge
sell off you your wife and daughter
put to use what college taught her
suck and fuck a billionaire
wash his cum out of her hair
though you suffer and despair
prison planet doesn't care

we're just here to play our role
to crush dissent, assert control
to collect taxes, charge you fees
and bring about equality
except for us who run the show
the government and CEOs
doing god's work every day
that's why we are so well-payed
though you suffer and dismay
prison planet says OBEY

fire all the dissenters.

Atomizer's picture

Contact Henry Rollins, Al Jourgensen or Trent Reznor. ;v) You'll need to change a couple of lines due to copyright infringements.

Edit: Believe we grew up in the same era. The last card to be played within the cartel.....

FEAR - Let's Have a War


Enjoy. In retrospect, my parents always saw me leaving the house in my Izod/Polo shirt, khaki pants and penny loafers. Little did they know, my combat boots, biker jacket, pants and T-shirt were dropped out of my second story bedroom window.

Moshing, stage diving and learning about politics was my double life in my early 20's. One day, my mom found my biker jacket buried in the bowls of my closet. She never told my dad. I was relieved she kept our secret from my father.

Shortly after; I grew tired of moshing, but continued to follow that music scene. Good luck with your endeavors.

Temporalist's picture

Maybe your mom was wondering why you had a jacket in bowls in your closet?

thunderchief's picture

Star Trek, episode 19, Capt. Kirk finds Diamonds littered all over a planets surface during a gut wrenching knock down drag out fight with Lizard man.  There are a lot of resources out there, it's just of the cost of extracting them.  That is why they are so expensive.

doesmybuttlookfatinthis's picture

They are much funnier climbing back in like in Bruce Almighty. And if you want to be entirely factual, monkeys fly out of peoples butts all over south east asia and south America on a daily basis. They've just been digested.

barkingbill's picture

somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there's an america that i dream of...once in a lullaby...

nonclaim's picture

Would you still be whining about the value of the dollar or various bond ratings?

Yes! The value of the product does not depend on which currency it is priced in.

Popo's picture

What if a gigantic solid-gold meteorite weighing 9 million tons, suddenly crashed into your momma's house?

andybev01's picture

Then Momma would be the wealthiest person on the planet...for 1/100,000,000,000,000,000th of a second.

dwdollar's picture

Yeah, cause the Ivy League Schools are big inventors / innovators right?  More like obsessed with winning government grants squawking about the status quo.

Bobbyrib's picture

Yes...because MIT would release the technology to bring down the cost of energy for your average consumer. I think you live your whole life in a fantasy.

Zeilschip's picture

As I see it, the major technological breakthroughs happen during wars. So the question really is, who should the US attack?

bigwavedave's picture

i have thought about this at length and i think that the best option would be Canada. 

msamour's picture

Eh now, careful about that thought. We'll release more Canada Geese down South, and throw in a few thousand beavers to dam all your rivers. That will only be the initial strike. Wait till we come down with hockey sticks and chain saws!

ceilidh_trail's picture

 Just please keep your roots tshirts and hosers up north...

Peak Everything's picture

If you want to understand the potential of a breakthrough in solar (or any other renewable energy) you should read Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air by David MacKay. The book is available online for free. I think you will see that even after making wildly optimistic assumptions about technology progress, we will still have to consume dramatically less energy (and everything else). Soon.

simonsito's picture

thanks for the info, I ll read that only for the fact that it comes "without hot air"

Hulk's picture

We use over twice the energy eq to sunshine falling on the continental US on a yearly basis...

Sunshine, on my continent

ain't going to do shit...

Sunshine, on my continent

makes us go broke

Sunshine, on my continent

makes the greenies high...

tmosley's picture

Nope.  We use 1/5th that much.  And you are for some strange reason assuming that any new energy source must produce 100% of used power.  

Death worship from you?  Et tu, Hulk?

fallout11's picture

Yes, but our best conversion/capture/reuse technologies are only 10% efficient, not 100%.

1/5th of the land x 100% efficient = 10/5th the land x 10% efficient.

malek's picture

It's called solarthermics, genius, and some people already heat their home only with sunlight, year round:


Founders Keeper's picture

[What happens if a new discovery...allows sunlight to be captured as heat energy cheaply and efficiently, prompting a boom in technological development? Would you still be whining about the value of the dollar or various bond ratings?]---Maniac Researcher

Well let's see what history teaches us. The following were inventions of the late 1920's and 30's:





Synthetic rubber

Jet engine

Electron microscope

Nylon, baby food, liquid fuel rocket, helicopter, photocopier, insulin.

History tells us NONE of these life-changing inventions prevented or cured us of the Great Depression.

(As I'm sure you're aware, all good "research" is humbly built upon the shoulders of giants. Unfortunately, your post was spectacularly arrogant.)


tmosley's picture

Uhh, are you saying that the Great Depression wouldn't have been longer WITHOUT those inventions?  Are you saying that we could subtract all of the economic gains they have produced without changing economic conditions over the past 80 years?

Christ, how can human being be this stupid?

Founders Keeper's picture

Hi t.

I think you missed my point in Replying to Maniac Researcher.

Nevertheless, in response to your post. Technology or invention of the day does not change unchanging human nature. For example, if we all had free endless clean energy it would not change human nature; and thus another economic great depression and/or war would be inevitable. Seems someone is always trying to take from someone else. I wish it were otherwise.


Use of Weapons's picture

Your reference?:

Or, if you're not actually backing up the snark with any real knowledge, somewhere like this:

In which case, go read the prior links.


Yes; its a nice leap, and makes solar much cheaper / efficient. We might get the vast solid state arrays in deserts that we've been promised since the 70's in about 20 years, if we're lucky. At the moment, the issue (as ever) is [size=20]scale[/size].

However, here's the rub: oil isn't just energy. It is plastics, fertiliser, lubricants, yadda yadda yadda, used in circa 70-75% of all industrial processes at some point. It is geopolitics and vested interest and $6 trillion spent on having the largest land force in the world on the ground killing off the indiginies for ten years+. You have serious scientists telling the world to mass build nuclear plants because the energy drop is going to be a shocker [and, post Japan, that's not a big seller - see German protests]. Solar energy, and the infrastructure [which will be built using oil-based products, e.g. tarmac for one] need building - which is about 10-20 years away, less if the West can pull a China [which it can't - hipsters don't work, apparently].

So - if you're going to get snarky about your 'high pedestal' - just be warned, there's lions, tigers & bears in these parts, and I'm a minnow compared to some of the posters / lurkers. Many are trained to analyse trends, technology, statistics and probabilities, all looking for $ possibilities/probabilities; which is all that matters to those that matter. Doubting their 'negative' outlook as 'fantasy' rather belies the real work that gets done off the page. You know those nice .pdf packages GS & others make? Countless hours of research to make the "smart choice" in investing?

Turns out - if you're not baking the cake yourself (which is the gripe zone in here), most don't rise. I reference the hybrid car technology, and GS' papers on it, and obvious government policy collusion to make happen - if you want more, try GS' biotech (15th or 16th now) summits, and where the big boys are putting R&D into.


Oh, and this isn't Xkcd or Reddit or fluffy-land, so don't expect Star Trek Solutions [Ltd] to be a matter of faith.



tmosley's picture

Wow, you guys are really all about as dumb as dogshit.

This is NOT a hypothetical.  It hit the press today.  Some fancypants MIT researchers (who according to morons never make or invent anything, in stark contrast to the millions upon millions of patents registered in the name of MIT scientists) have come up with a way to print solar panels onto paper with a process that is as cheap as the production of shiny chip bag material.  Which is to say practically nothing.  You can take this shit, crumple it up into your pocket, fold it a thousand times, and it still works.  The only drawback is a currently low efficiency, about 1%.  But that can be improved with a little more research into the proper patterning.  This was basically a first shot.

I've been warning you peak oil morons about this shit for months.  There are massive changes coming down the pike in terms of solar production.  These are REAL.  And this paper shit is only the first of them.  Graphene will be the last, and most important.

Christ, I can't get over how fucking stupid you death worshippers are.  Pages and pages of stupidity.

Use of Weapons's picture

Ah, Mr "I've no idea about scale" issues.


First off - just because you read about it today, doesn't mean it is new tech.

For over a decade, he and his colleagues have been developing multilayered molecular thin films to demonstrate organic LEDs that can be used as paper-thin TV screens and similarly slim photodetector planes of nanoscale thickness. Extending this molecular work to colloidal quantum dots, Bulovi? and Bawendi recently developed new printing techniques that can deposit thin layers of quantum dots on top of a substrate of choice—just the type of process they now need in their development of nano-PVs.


Peer-reviewed paper:

Published online 17 March 2011



You don't think that we're aware of stuff like this? Fucking monkey.

tmosley's picture

What kind of fucking argument is that?  Some guy used some other tech (not the one we are talking about) for some other purpose, therefore mass production of solar panels printed on paper is not possible?

Is this the best your loser cult can do?

Use of Weapons's picture


My link is to a process that cuts the costs of cutting wafers by 60%, and the factory is going into build in 2013. $150 mil on the table (part funding) by the US gov. so there's semi-serious investment in it.

Your link is to a unproven tech, that has been been around for a decade [note: they are VERY cagey on what the materials used are, and how toxic they are] and is well known about. They are at the stage of "well, it'd be cool if this was in any way efficient" - not mass production, and certainly not at the stage of making it the back bone of an industrial economy.


Have you even read the source paper, or are you adding "cool article + my imagination which is awesome" and getting "I solved the world's problems"?

But sure - Star Trek has warped your brain, and you've no concept of scale.


[Edit - I notice that your faith in graphene is purely based on this article: . It is hugely irresponsible to base any faith in this tech at the moment. A single paper... sheesh.]



Dreadker's picture

Dude - I'll bet 90% of 'Doomsayers' would like all this shit to be solved in am amicable way that does not force Argentine type sufferring on billions of people. The problem is we are a reactionary race that doesn't believe anyhting changes until its changed. Until i see some actual evidence of massive change in the direction of economic, governmental and average persons mentality i' gonna keep preparing for the worst and hoping for the best... Cause if the worst happens and you're not prepped you're fucked. If the best happens i have some stuff to sell and life skills to teach my kids

fallout11's picture

TM, I get the idea you're not that old, hence still optimistic, and actually believe the babble that techno-salvation is just around the corner. Those of us who are have been hearing this shit and stuff like it for the better part of 50 years now. Pick up an old Popular Science magazine from the 40's to today to see what tomorrow promises thanks to brand new developments.....that never materialized.  I've been hearing claims of revolutionary solar power developments since the mid-70's, and lo, they're still not here. The 4 year old PV panels on my own roof cost more, on a per-KW generated basis (after adjusting for inflation) than they would have in 1979.  Pollyannas never solved any engineering problems (unlike us real engineers), which is why they cannot understand that real world<tm> hurdles limit development. 

Camtender's picture

Texans buying guns.

Do you think there might be some Gerald Celente fans in Texas (listen at 1:05)

Hugh G Rection's picture

Def a Celente fan.  When people lose everything, they lose it.


Happy both shopkeepers were articulate and well-spoken.  Usually MSM tries their darndest to make gun owners out as toothless inbred mongoloids.

JW n FL's picture

to new family members who do not know what the buy list for firearms are..


Home Defense.. 12ga shot gun.. for those on a budget.. a pump (Mossberg) will work.. for those with a few more pennies.. a 930spx (Mossberg) semi auto shotgun and for those with more money than sense.. see Benelli Cryo.


For a carry weapon.. for women.. .22L (Ruger, Walther and so on) or 5.7 herstel.

Real Men carry .45 acps.. period.


For a long gun.. see Sig 556 anything for an affordable gun and if once again more money than sense kicks in.. H & K comes to mind.


anyone else in the family can or would be happy to help steer you to some good guns here.. for the safety of your family and loved ones.


Given Police Departments are being cut in half! and Emergency Services as well are being cut in Half.. in some locations.. consider some medical purchases as well.


Dry Goods for food, and most importantly! a fall back position.. a safe place that is not your primary residence that you can easily make it too. ie not across state lines or county lines if you can help it.


Money is Gold and Silver.. think about what is worth something to you in the event things go badly.. have that as well.


Like YOU were taught! be fucking prepared.. and for the record I Pray every day for everyone that we all never see anything that bad and I would LOVE for ya'll to make fun of me in a few years and say James! you worry wart! everything turned out fine! I am HAPPY to be wrong! or over prepared! HAPPY! TO BE WRONG!!!

XenoFrog's picture

You forgot to add,

Take a gun safety course, so that you don't end up shooting yourself or a loved one unless they, or you, have become zombified.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

Got my glocks, gold and good booze ready to go.

Bring it

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

OK, that´s very good b_B.

But, as JW said above, paraphrasing, if/when TSHTF it WILL be ugly for everyone, even the prepared.

Include a good water supply and cleaning materials (filter, etc.), food and medical supplies.  TWICE as much as you think you could possibly need.  Then you can barter your extra supplies.

Just being a little extra paranoid you know.


ZH-ers interested in TEOTWAWKI, gold, Peru, etc. might be interested in my blog, if so gmail me at my name, and promise me you will behave, for the link (I use my real name and so do not putthe link here).  170 ZH readers can´t be wrong!

baby_BLYTHE's picture

I already have 80% of my assets in PMs, own multiple firearms, have a reverse osmosis waterfilter, have about 6 months worth of food supply and all other basic survival necessities. 

I am ready as can be for the inevitable outcome of endless monetary debasement in the face of a generational credit collapse.

As history tells us, human behavior never changes.

It is no different this time.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture


I am only at three stars.  Good for you.  Keep thinking like that, and not only you, but any children you may have will be OK (assuming no Black Swans land on you).

It is my understanding that you are quite young (vs. me being 55).  Your understanding of our financial predicament is very high and you have acted upon it.

Whatever guy finds you should consider himself VERY LUCKY!  You are in the top 1% should things go REALLY BAD.  While I do not think things will go SHTF (though they sure might), should things go the trajectory I guess, your PMs will make you RICH! 

My sincere congratulations!

Dreadker's picture

Lol - my wife packs a .357 Sig... Real stopping power ;-)