Thursday, February 04, 2010

Take the ratings pledge 

If there's to be a Question Time, I have a proposal for the first question. "President Obama, will you agree that your presidency's success on fiscal policy should be judged on whether or not you maintain the U.S.'s AAA corporate sovereign debt rating?" (UPDATE: Corporate? What was I thinking??)

It appears the Conservatives in the U.K. are willing to make that pledge.
U.K. opposition Treasury spokesman George Osborne said Tuesday that if elected, a Conservative government should be judged on whether it can defend the country�s AAA credit rating. ...

�Judge us by whether we can protect the U.K. credit rating,� Osborne said in a speech in London, adding that this was a �political gamble.�

�But the economic risk of not setting ourselves this benchmark is not one I am willing to take,� Osborne said.
Who else will step up? The threat in the U.S. is not idle:
Steven Hess, senior credit officer at Moody�s, said the deficits projected in the budget outlook presented by the Obama administration outlook this week did not stabilise debt levels in relation to gross domestic product.

�Unless further measures are taken to reduce the budget deficit further or the economy rebounds more vigorously than expected, the federal financial picture as presented in the projections for the next decade will at some point put pressure on the triple A government bond rating,� the rating agency added in an issuer note.
I am expecting a couple of communications people from the Congressional Republican staffs to start emailing me about this. If you want me to take you seriously, you had better be willing to match Mr. Osborne's pledge.

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