Global markets tumble, Obama addresses S&P downgrade

Here and Now

This story was originally covered by PRI’s Here and Now. For more, listen to the audio above.

Officials at Standard and Poor’s, which downgraded US debt on Friday, followed up today with downgrades of credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 32 banks and other organizations that depend on Fedral dollars.

With every major stock index in Europe and the US down at mid-day, President Obama went on air to assure the world that financial markets around the world, “still believe our credit is triple-A, and the world’s investors agree.”

The President was referring to the fact that as investors fled stock markets, they were eagerly buying up U.S. debt bonds, despite the downgrade by the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s.

“We didn’t need a rating agency to tell us we need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction,” President Obama added, and said he would soon outline priorities for the bi-partisan Congressional committee looking for a debt reduction plan.

The BBC reports the markets are continuing to fall despite President Obama’s speech, and that there has been a “dramatic” sell-off around the world in the past few days, with stock markets “seeing falls of the magnitude not seen since the global financial crisis of 2007-08.”

Read transcript of President Obama’s remarks on S&P downgrade on the Wall Street Journal website.

Watch President Obama’s remarks:

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