USM business expert: US rating downgrade "mostly symbolic"

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  The dean of the College of Business at Southern Miss calls the downgrading of the U.S. government's credit rating "mostly symbolic" and says consumers probably won't be affected that much for now.

But, Dr. Lance Nail says if the U.S. can't get its financial house in order in the coming months, consumers will be hurt.

Nail also says he wasn't surprised that Standard & Poor's lowered the nation's AAA rating on Friday.

"What can happen is, if we continue down this path, interest rates will continue to climb for the U.S. government, and all other interest rates are benchmarked off of that, so if U.S. government rates, if treasury rates go up, then all other rates go up, mortgage rates, lending rates, everything will go up and it will have a negative impact on everyone in the economy," Nail said.

Nail says if interest rates do rise, they will probably do so a little at a time.

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