S&P Downgrades U.S. Rating

Standard & Poor's lowered the U.S. long-term debt rating to AA-plus from AAA in part because of Washington's political paralysis during the debt-ceiling debate. In announcing the first such move in 70 years, the agency's official statement said “the gulf between the political parties” reduced confidence in the government's ability to handle its finances. "The conclusion was pretty much motivated by all of the debate about the raising of the debt ceiling," said John Chambers, chairman of the S&P's sovereign ratings committee, "It involved a level of brinksmanship greater than what we had expected earlier in the year."