CHICAGO - Detroit officials were working yesterday to stave off a demand from its interest rate swap counterparties for a termination payment following Standard & Poor's move a day earlier to strip the city's general obligation debt of its investment-grade rating.

Standard & Poor's attributed its decision to knock the city's $2.4 billion of limited and unlimited-tax GOs down to the junk ratings of BB, from BBB-minus and BBB, respectively, to Detroit's deteriorating financial position and expectation of a 2009 budget deficit.

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