The United States has faced its fair share of economic turmoil in recent years, but we often rely on our nation's reputation of world leadership and long-term stability to get us through the rough patches. Unfortunately, our nation's debt and conflict in Washington resulted in a historic blow to our country's financial status this week.
Though Congress eventually agreed to raise the debt ceiling, it was too little too late for Standard & Poor's. The credit rating company was unimpressed with how the U.S. government was handling its funds. As a result, just this past weekend the S&P downgraded the country's credit rating from an elite AAA to a lesser AA+. Economists can only predict the ripple effects from this historic measure—though wild swings on Wall Street and higher interest rates are likely.