Government shutdown could threaten U.S. credit rating
Furloughed federal workers and area elected officials hold a protest rally in Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Why it matters: A credit downgrade would make it harder for the U.S. government to borrow money and raise borrowing costs. During the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis, Standard & Poor's cut the U.S.'s triple-A credit rating for the first time since 1941.