The recession has reduced the time left for 'AAA' rated states including the UK to avert sovereign debt crises as their populations age, Moody's warns.
"Genuinely adverse debt dynamics were only expected to materialise in 15 to 20 years," Moody's quarterly Sovereign Monitor says. "The crisis has 'fast-forwarded' history, eroding all the time available to adjust."
Moody's analysts claim the UK, US, Germany France and Spain run the risk of "interest rate shock" either because their deficits are too large or because they must roll over a cluster of short-term debt, the Telegraph reports.
The rating agency says none of the large sovereign states can assume they are credit-worthy, and countries which "fail to demonstrate the level of social cohesion required to stabilise debt" will lose their AAA rating.
It warns the UK's structural deficit is causing debt to "grow an unsustainable rate" despite the "safety cushion" of its long debt maturities.
Moody's predicts Britain's public debt to reach 90% of its GDP within three years, and warns if there is any slackening in financial tightening by the Government there will be a "sharp rise" in funding costs if growth also slowed.
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