El-Erian Says U.S. Risks Downgrade

Last-minute deal would avoid default, but U.S. might lose AAA, Pimco exec says.

The U.S. government may lose its AAA credit rating even if lawmakers reach a plan to avoid a default, said Mohamed A. El-Erian, whose Pacific Investment Management Co. is the world’s largest manager of bond funds.

“In most likelihood, a last-minute political compromise will avoid a default but will leave the AAA rating extremely vulnerable,” El-Erian, the Newport Beach, California-based chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer at Pimco, wrote in an e-mail. “Stock markets around the globe will look to price in a greater uncertainty premium on account of political squabbles in the world’s largest economy and the increasing risk that it may lose its sacred AAA rating.”

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