Moody's Slaps Wall Street's Big Banks With Review

Along with most of Europe's banks

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2012 8:31 AM CST

(Newser) – Moody's isn't feeling great about the health of the financial industry right now. The rating agency put a host of banks under review for possible downgrade today, including US giants Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street Journal reports. It said the banks now faced "more fragile funding conditions, wider credit spreads, increased regulatory burdens" and "opacity of risk." Moody's already downgraded the banks last year to reflect its doubt that the government would ever provide a 2008-style bailout again.

But the US got off light compared to Europe, where Moody's placed a whopping 114 financial institutions under review, including big players like Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, HSBC, ING Groep, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, thanks to Europe's debt crisis. Earlier this week it cut both Italy and Spain's ratings, and those countries had the most banks under review, with 24 and 21 respectively.

This picture taken on January 17, 2012 in Paris shows a close-up of the opening page of the ratings agency Moody's website.
This picture taken on January 17, 2012 in Paris shows a close-up of the opening page of the ratings agency Moody's website.   (Getty Images)
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