The September terrorist attacks on US soil and Operation Enduring Freedom temporarily deflected attention from Argentina's deteriorating financial situation. But the unflattering glare quickly found its way back to the South American country. On October 9, Standard & Poor's downgraded Argentina's long-term credit rating to CCC+ with a negative outlook, putting it deep in junk bond territory. The ratings agency cited the increasingly severe economic and social challenges the country faces in balancing its budget. S&P also downgraded a number of Argentine corporate issuers just days ahead of mid-term elections that promise to complicate President Fernando de la Rúa's efforts to revive a moribund economy .
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