It seems clear enough to me: you cannot wait till after 2012. Credit markets are fine, until they aren't. We are skating on ice as the weather slowly warms. By their nature, cracks emerge suddenly and unexpectedly. Ezra:
The upside of the S&P’s move, of course, is that it makes an eventual downgrade less likely. The more external pressure Washington has to act, and the more it fears the consequences of inaction, the more likely it is to actually do something. This “negative outlook” is the sort of thing that builds pressure. Same for PIMCO’s decision to flee the market for Treasurys. As the market sends more and more of these warning shots, it becomes likelier and likelier that Washington will actually act. S&P is an observer here, but it’s also a player, and everyone knows it.