Moody’s: Failure to raise debt will not lead to default

Moody’s: Failure to raise debt will not lead to default

One of the nation’s top credit-rating agencies says that the U.S. Treasury Department is likely to continue paying interest on the government’s debt even if Congress fails to lift the limit on borrowing next week, preserving the nation’s sterling AAA credit rating.

In a memo being circulated on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Service offers “answers to frequently asked questions” about the government shutdown, now in its second week, and the federal debt limit. President Obama has said that, unless Congress acts to raise the $16.7 trillion limit by next Thursday, the nation will be at risk of default.

Not so, Moody’s says in the memo dated Oct. 7.

” We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact,” the memo says.

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