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According to JP Morgan the biggest impact of a US downgrade will be on tri-party agreements in Europe and the US repo market.
Certain tri-party agreements have strict ratings requirements which would result in US Treasuries no longer being accepted as collateral.
“If the US sovereign were no longer rated Triple A, US Treasuries would not be eligible anymore.
According to the JP Morgan research note, “US money market funds would not be required to sell US Treasury Securities in the event of a US downgrade, it is investor redemptions that pose most risk.
“Many US investors will remain loyal and patriotic to Treasuries but for European and Asian investors they will be looking for alternatives,” he said.
Foreign central banks who hold around USD3.5trn of US Treasury securities are already seeking alternatives to US Treasuries.