NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Standard & Poor's downgrade earlier this week of U.S. sovereign debt sent shock waves through the financial world.Against this backdrop of ongoing budget and deficit battles in Washington, which likely will continue until the next presidential election in 2012, TheStreet asked First Niagara CEO John Koelmel how he sees the issue playing out. When do you expect interest rates to rise and what impact do you see on your business? First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG) CEO John Koelmel: "It will be a while before rates rise," said the chief of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based retail banking outfit. "They only have one way to go, and that is up. It is not a question of if, but when. I continue to believe that until the economic recovery, narrowly and broadly defined, is much more stable than it is to date -- rising rates on top of rising gas prices and uncertainties in the regulatory arena would compound the problem, not be part of the solution. It will be a while before we see some rise in rates." S&P downgraded its outlook for U.S. sovereign debt to negative. How do you think the deficit and economy will affect the banking business?
|First Niagara CEO John Koelmel|
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