Fitch: Debt Ceiling Fight Could Endanger ‘AAA’ Rating of US

The warning illustrates how the debate can create an aversion to risk that could rattle bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconOct 1, 2021 at 2:32 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:37 p.m. UTC

Rating agency Fitch has issued a warning that congressional debate on whether to raise the debt ceiling could threaten the ‘AAA’ rating of the United States.

The warning illustrates how debt ceiling fights – even if they don’t end in default – can spook markets, potentially creating an aversion to risk among investors that could rattle bitcoin.

It also puts into perspective how congressional spats over the debt ceiling threaten the U.S.’ status as the world’s provider of safe-haven assets.

“Fitch believes that the debt limit will be raised or suspended in time to avert a default event, but if this were not done in a timely manner, political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. sovereign default,” the agency said.

Fitch’s note is reminiscent of the 2011 debt ceiling fight that caused another rating agency, Standard and Poor (S&P), to downgrade the U.S.’ rating.

Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen advocated for abolishing the debt ceiling.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Nate DiCamillo is a business reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on banking and economics.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about