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Washington
Treasury responds to SandP rating reduction
WASHINGTON (4/20/11)--U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Tuesday said that he disagreed with Standard & Poor's (S&P) move to cut the long-term AAA credit rating of the U.S. to negative, noting that the potential for consensus on how to improve the country’s long term fiscal condition is better than it has been. S&P on Monday said that the credit rating cut was partly due to a "material risk" that U.S. policy makers might fail to reach an agreement on how to address the nation's medium- and long-term budget challenges by 2013. Such a result would “render the U.S. fiscal profile meaningfully weaker than that of peer 'AAA' sovereigns," S&P said. Geithner in an appearance on CNBC said that both Democrats and Republicans agreed that reforms need to be made to bring down long term deficits. “Both sides understand that if we are going to do this, we have to do it together,” he added. The Treasury leader said that legislators would be wise to lock in “credible” targets for potential savings in the budget. “Where we agree on specifics, we can do that too,” he added. Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin also spoke out on Tuesday, defending the government’s implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Wolin said he was responding to allegations of a lack of coordination by regulators and complaints that the reforms implemented by Dodd-Frank would unfairly disadvantage U.S. firms that compete in the global market. Wollin also spoke out against criticism of the pace of Dodd-Frank’s reforms, saying that regulators “have been and are moving quickly but carefully to implement this legislation” and “continue to seek public input.” The Deputy Secretary added that getting the details of the regulations right “remains critical.” “Although there may be reasonable debate about the substance of Dodd-Frank implementation work, there is no question that regulators have been implementing the statute in a careful, considered, and serious manner,” Wolin said. However, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) continued to criticize the pace of Dodd-Frank reforms, saying in a release that it remains “difficult for individual firms – especially small businesses – and the public at large to meaningfully participate and offer their insights and observations.”


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