Geithner not sure final debt deal will prevent credit downgrade

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday lamented the spectacle of the debt-ceiling debate and said he doesn't know whether the final deal will be enough to save the nation's triple-A credit rating. 

Its not my judgment to make, Geithner said of a possible downgrade. I think this is a good result, but a terrible process.

The three major credit-rating agencies — Moodys Investors Service, Standard & Poors and Fitch — warned Congress that a credit downgrade could be forthcoming if the nation doesnt make sweeping budgetary changes to pare down the deficit. A downgrade to AA could rattle the markets and drive up interest rates for U.S. borrowing.

Geithner said the last-minute dramatics that enveloped Washington also hurt the nations reputation. 

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I think confidence here was absolutely very damaged by this spectacle theyve seen in Washington of a significant number of elected officials in this country threatening default, he said in an interview with ABC NewsAs the world watched Congress step up to the edge of the abyss, it made them really wonder whether this place can work.

The debt-ceiling deal that the Senate is expected to approve Tuesday wont hurt the economy, Geithner said, but he doesnt expect it to boost jobs, either.

This agreement itself, on its own, doesnt create jobs, Geithner said. What it does is it avoids doing more damage in the short term, because the president refused to accept the types of deep spending cuts that many in Congress wanted.

Geithner downplayed the risk of a double-dip recession even as data show the economic recovery losing steam.

The United States is a very strong ... a resilient economy, and were in a very good position to benefit, he said. Were still, you know, among the most productive economies in the world.

Geithner also dodged questions about whether he would leave his post once the debt-limit deal had been finalized, as had been reported earlier.

Ive been a little busy, he said. I havent had a ton of time to think about that, he said.