Queen's University

U.S. credit downgrade


Queen’s University finance professors Sean Cleary and Louis Gagnon are available to discuss the Standard and Poor’s U.S. credit downgrade and its impact on the financial world.

Dr. Gagnon (who speaks French and English) is an expert on debt and risk management. He developed risk-management methodologies and policies during his stint in senior management at the Royal Bank of Canada.

"Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade long-term U.S. Treasury debt from AAA to AA+ was widely anticipated so this announcement should be seen as yet another warning that the U.S. needs to put its fiscal house in order. As consequential as a downgrade of US debt may seem to be, the yield on 5- and 10-year U.S. debt has actually fallen in early trading today rather than rise, which is a reminder that the market has a mind of its own and that rating agencies do not lead markets. While it is difficult to foresee the long-term impact of this downgrade, its short term impact will be minimal. This is good news for the U.S. and for the rest of the world but, at the same time, we should all be reminded that the U.S. and Europe are living on borrowed time and that significant actions are required of political leaders to clean up their act and restore investor confidence," says Dr. Gagnon.


Dr. Cleary has taught numerous School of Business courses on capital markets, investments, and mergers and acquisitions. He has authored and co-written several books, including Introduction to Corporate Finance, Investments: Analysis and Management, and The Canadian Securities Exam Fast Track Study Guide.

“I think a lot of this downgrade may have already been factored into the market - on the other hand the markets are so jittery now people are looking for an excuse to sell,” Dr. Cleary said before the North American markets opened this morning.

Please note Dr. Cleary is only available for phone interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-2877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Last updated at 9:45 pm EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
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