Experts Shrug Off S&P's US Downgrade Threat

Monday, 18 Apr 2011 03:47 PM

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Star fund managers and investors blew off Standard & Poor's warning to downgrade U.S. debt ratings, viewing the move as a threat more than an imminent reality.

Stocks fell Monday on the news, although some saw the dip as an opportunity for bottom fishing.

"The more likely outcome is this is a buying opportunity," says James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis, according to CNBC.

Stocks plunged about 2 percent at one point Monday "because of some agency's stated opinion on something. There's a lot of opinions every day. It's not like there's a fundamental change from where we were last Friday."

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NYSE traders
(Getty photo)
Others point out that the move could spur politicians to agree on fiscal future for the country.

"S&P's actions could help advance the process toward a long-run strategy," says David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities in New York.

"By entering the debate in this way and at this time, S&P has served a useful public service by putting all parties on notice that words and actions in the political debate have consequences."

Others point out that there are no other markets, currencies or economies out there deep enough as those in the United States, which means investors won't flee from here.

"In this world today, the United States, from the size of capital markets and its political system, even though we're all frustrated, screams out stability," says Bob Andres, CIO at Merion Wealth Partners, in Berwyn, Pa.

"That's reality vis-a-vis the rest of the world. With the amount of money out there there's not a lot of capital markets that do what the United States does, so where are these guys going to go?"

Maintaining investor confidence overseas comes down to domestic politics and not solvency, says Lena Komileva, global head of G10 strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in London.

"In the relative universe of sovereign credits, investors are likely to view that the current episode of U.S. actions lagging behind market expectations as transitory, which will keep U.S. risk premia contained," says Komileva, according to Bloomberg.

"The euro remains the epicenter of global systemic risk."

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