Americans waited with bated breath on our congressional leadership to resolve the debt ceiling crisis. At the 11th hour, a deal was struck to cut spending and raise the nation's debt ceiling, avoiding the potential that the U.S. would default on at least some of its obligations.But the deal didn't provide new tax revenue, and the spending cuts it identified fell short of what analysts with the ratings agency Standard & Poor's thought was needed for the country to begin getting a handle on the national debt. On Aug. 5, Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S.'s AAA long-term credit rating to AA+ -- a historic first.Paradoxically, Treasury yields and mortgage rates plummeted in the wake of the decision, as panicked investors moved money out of global stock markets and into the relative...
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