Habrase visto. Para que tengan una idea de cuánto ha cambiado este mundo, chequen la siguiente nota del WSJ (pongo en negritas las partes sustantivas)
Moody's Investors Service says the U.S. and U.K. must prove they can whittle down their ballooning deficits to avoid threats to their triple-A credit ratings.
In a report released on Tuesday, Moody's set the two countries apart from other top-rated sovereign borrowers, calling them merely "resilient" rather than "resistant," a label it applied to Canada, France and Germany, where public finances are in better shape.
Moody's released the report as part of an effort, spurred by investor demand, to examine the creditworthiness of the world's most highly rated countries. There are 17 such "triple-A"-rated countries, ranging from the U.S. to Australia.
In both the U.K. and the U.S., Moody's said, much will depend on the vigor of the economic recovery and the willingness of governments to shrink the deficits.
Under the most pessimistic scenario put forward by Moody's, the U.S. would lose its top rating in 2013 if economic growth proves anemic, interest rates rise and the government fails to dent the deficit or recover most of its assistance to the financial sector.
Unlike several years ago, "now the question of a potential downgrade of the U.S. is not inconceivable," says Pierre Cailleteau, chief international economist at Moody's. "In a world that has lost its compass a bit, people want to understand what happens to risk-free assets."
The report noted that in a situation of moderate growth and deficit reduction—the path Moody's considers most likely—"the trajectory of the debt metrics, while unfavorable in the near term, does not currently threaten the ratings" of countries like the U.S. and the U.K.
In the U.S., a "credible fiscal consolidation strategy" is necessary to prevent the debt load and associated interest costs from tipping into the ratings agency's most pessimistic scenario, the report said.
The U.S. has advantages too, Moody's added. Despite registering a sharp increase in the amount of federal government debt outstanding in the year to September, interest payments as a percentage of government revenue actually declined, to 8.4% from 10%. That is a sign of strong investor demand for U.S. Treasury bonds and bills, which has allowed the country to borrow cheaply.
However, Moody expects the interest-to-revenue ratio to climb to 13% by 2012 in its most likely outcome. In its worst-case scenario, the figure could spike to 18%, a level only seen in the 1980s.