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A volunteer at a coronavirus testing site in Los Angeles on July 30. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Fitch Ratings maintained the United States' AAA credit rating but revised the country's outlook to "negative" from "stable" to "reflect the ongoing deterioration in the U.S. public finances and the absence of a credible fiscal consolidation plan," the credit agency announced on Friday.

Why it matters, via Axios' Dan Primack: Fitch is not only worried about the current U.S. economic deterioration, but also its belief that we don't have a plan to deal with our ballooning debt once the coronavirus crisis has waned. High fiscal deficits and debt that was increasing before the pandemic have begun to wear down the traditional credit strengths of the U.S., the agency noted.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Oct 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

How equity became more attractive than debt

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The prime example of something highly improbable that became conventional wisdom: The idea that both interest rates and inflation will remain near zero for well over a decade.

Why it matters: As Axios' Dan Primack writes, private equity firms (the polite rebranding of "leveraged buyouts") have historically bought companies and loaded them up with debt.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.