Keiko Ujikane and Jason Clenfield
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Moody’s Investors Service said the dollar’s unchallenged status as the world’s reserve currency is supporting U.S.’s Aaa credit rating even as the nation’s budget deficit is set to quadruple this year.
“In the absence of a credible alternative it’s hard to see abrupt changes and that’s not even in the interest of the creditors,” Pierre Cailleteau, managing director of sovereign risk at Moody’s, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. The credit rating “remains solid,” he said earlier at a briefing.
The fiscal health of the world’s largest economy has come under scrutiny by its creditors as bailouts and stimulus plans swell a budget deficit forecast to soar to a record $1.85 trillion this year. China and Russia, the largest and third- largest foreign holders of the debt, have said they may diversify some of their reserves.
Even if the U.S.’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product were to exceed 100 percent, more than double the current level, the country’s rating would still be secure as long as borrowing costs stay low, Cailleteau said. Moody’s estimates the ratio will rise to 59.9 percent this year from 40.8 percent.