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China Ratings Agency Downgrades America

You had to see this coming: The Chinese cut our debt rating — again.

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AP

This time, the Chinese rating agency Dagong reduced our sovereign credit rating from "AA" to "A+". Why? No surprises here either: Quantitative Easing.

This report citation is reposted on The Financial Times Alphaville blog: "The new round of quantitative easing monetary policy adopted by the Federal Reserve has brought about an obvious trend of depreciation of the U.S. dollar, and the continuation and deepening of credit crisis in the U.S. Such a move entirely encroaches on the interests of the creditors, indicating the decline of the U.S. government’s intention of debt repayment."

At least QE2 seems to be the proximate cause. We know the Chinese, among others, have been unhappy with the idea of QE2 for some time now.

Perhaps it's just a bit of schadenfreude — or, perhaps more accurately, bona fide sadism — in reaction to what the Chinese perceive as American condescension about their economy and markets, most notably the value of the renminbi.

Still, as a guy who loves this country, it makes me wince a little when I read the following:

"The serious defects in the United States economic development and management model will lead to the long-term recession of its national economy, fundamentally lowering the national solvency."

And:

"The U.S. government has not introspected on the question of the development and management model of the national economy from the global strategic perspective, which makes it very difficult for the U.S. to fundamentally change the passive situation of economic development…"

On the flip side, according to the official website of The U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Chinese remain our largest creditor.Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasury securities are currently valued, at par, at $868.4 billion.

(Which has to make you wonder: Where's the wisdom in downgrading your own position when you've already bet the farm?)

It reminds me of the old Wall Street adage: When you owe the bank $100,000 you have a creditor — when you owe the bank $100,000,000 you have a partner. Well, then: What’s the nature of the relationship when one nation owes another $836,000,000,000?

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