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US credibility continues to erode: Gundlach

Message to Washington from a top money manager: Don't even think of another fiscal confrontation like the one the country just struggled through.

The government shutdown that stretched on for more than two weeks damaged the economic credibility of the United States and could have lingering effects without a long-term budget deal, Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO and chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital, told CNBC on Thursday.

The compromise signed by President Barack Obama early Thursday extended the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and reopened the government by approving funding until Jan. 15. That means the country could be brought to another budget crisis in a few months.

"I think it slowly keeps eroding in the wrong direction," said Gundlach about the impact of ongoing D.C. wrangling on U.S. credibility. "It feels like we're in the movie 'Groundhog Day.' The last five months have been such a weird ride and it looks like it's going to be coming up again in just a few months."

Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital LP.
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital LP.

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The dollar was off Thursday, while the price of gold surged. Gundlach said that was an indication of lingering economic concern about the polarization in Washington. He also noted the Chinese downgrade of U.S. debt and the ongoing concern that U.S. ratings agency will drop Treasury debt because of the budget fights in Congress.

Gundlach said there was no reason to believe short-term interest will rise in the foreseeable future, making bonds an attractive investment. With quantitative easing likely to extend well into 2014, Gundlach said he expects to see money coming back into the bond market over the next few months.

"There's no negative pressure on interest rates," Gundlach said, citing the lack of inflation.

Earlier in the day, Obama said in a press conference that the just-ended fiscal crisis undermined U.S. credibility abroad and slowed economic growth at home

Merely the threat of default increased the country's borrowing costs, which adds to the deficit, he added.

By Craig Giammona, Special to CNBC.com

Debt

Politics