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Ratings firm Egan-Jones cut its credit rating on the U.S. government to "AA-" from "AA," citing its opinion that quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve would hurt the U.S. economy and the country's credit quality.
In its downgrade, the firm said that issuing more currency and depressing interest rates through purchasing mortgage-backed securities does little to raise the U.S.'s real gross domestic product, but reduces the value of the dollar.
In turn, this increases the cost of commodities, the firm said. ...
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded its credit rating of the U.S. federal government from AAA (outstanding) to AA+ (excellent) on August 5, 2011.
This was the first time the government was given a rating below AAA. S&P had announced a negative outlook on the AAA rating in April 2011. The downgrade to AA+ occurred four days after the 112th United States Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling of the federal government by means of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011.
The downgrade was criticized by the U.S. Treasury Department, both Democratic and Republican Party political figures, and many businessmen and economists.
Both Fitch Ratings and Moody's, designated like S&P as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSRO) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, retained the U.S.'s triple-A rating. Moody's, however, changed its outlook to negative on June 2, 2011 and Fitch changed its outlook to negative on November 28, 2011.