Standard and Poor

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Argentina Defaults, Blames US

US' handling of talks with bondholders was 'shameful'

(Newser) - First the World Cup loss , now this: Argentina has defaulted for the second time in 13 years—but apparently through no fault of its own. Standard & Poor's considered the country in default yesterday after it failed to make interest payments to its bondholders and CNN reports that may... More »

The 7 Biggest Shutdown Losers

Hint: Most of them are Republicans

(Newser) - "There are no winners here," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday afternoon. This is because Jay Carney is not a political pundit who lives to declare winners in Washington dust-ups. But even taking Carney at his word about winners, there sure were a heck of... More »

S&P Says Lawsuit Is Feds' Revenge for Downgrade

Justice Department calls claim 'preposterous'

(Newser) - Standard & Poor's is claiming that the Justice Department's massive lawsuit against it is simply "retaliation" for the rating agency's 2011 decision to downgrade the US credit rating . In a court filing yesterday, S&P argued that the downgrade was "free speech" and that hence... More »

Why Aren't We Prosecuting Singing S&P Fraudsters?

William Greider wonders if this is Obama's Watergate

(Newser) - The Justice Department's lawsuit against Standard and Poor's looks pretty damning. According to the suit, S&P knew its ratings on mortgage bonds were too loose, proposed upgrading them in 2004—and then decided not to because it would hurt the bottom line, Fortune explains. The suit makes... More »

Consumer Confidence Soars Past Expectations

There's good housing news, too

(Newser) - Consumer confidence soared to a seven-month high, flying far above analyst expectations, according to a Conference Board report released today. The board's index came in at 70.3, up from 61.3 a month earlier. That's a whole heck of a lot better than the 63 that the... More »

Dow Plummets 200+ Points

Weak jobs report leads to market troubles

(Newser) - The Dow's gain for the year is gone, thanks to today's terrible jobs report . The Dow fell more than 200 points following the report, according to the AP . At 11am EDT, it was at 12,170, down 224 points. That's a loss of about 0.3% for... More »

S&P: We'll Likely Declare Greece in Default

As Greece struggles to restructure debt

(Newser) - Standard & Poor's will likely downgrade Greece's rating to "selective default" after its debt restructuring, the rating agency said at a Bloomberg event today—though it adds that the move might not destroy the European Union's credit. "It's not a given that Greece's... More »

Moody's Also Drops Italy's Credit Rating

Cites woes with the euro, not Italy itself

(Newser) - Moody’s followed Standard & Poor’s lead and downgraded Italy’s credit rating yesterday, slashing it from Aa2 to A2 and setting its outlook to “negative,” meaning it envisions more cuts to come. Moody’s said its decision wasn’t based on Italy’s government finances, but... More »

Italy Lashes Out After S&P Downgrade

Says it was swayed by 'political considerations'

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi’s office reacted angrily to Standard & Poor’s downgrade of Italy’s credit rating today, insisting that it had a solid majority in parliament and was taking the necessary steps to solve Italy’s debt crisis, the New York Times reports. “The evaluations of Standard &... More »

Fitch Threatens to Downgrade US, Too

Joins S&P and Moody's

(Newser) - The third major bond rating agency joined the chorus warning that the US is in danger of losing its AAA credit rating today. Fitch Ratings said it was placing US in the “ratings watch negative” category, which according to Politico can lead to a downgrade in three to six... More »

Moody's Warns US to Strike Deal on Debt Limit

It threatens to downgrade nation's triple-A credit rating

(Newser) - Moody's is getting antsy over the lack of progress on a deal to raise the debt limit and cut the deficit, reports the Washington Post . It warned today that it will consider lowering the nation's credit rating unless a deal emerges by mid-July, citing a "very small... More »

Ohio Sues Credit Rating Agencies for Role in Crisis

Moody's, S&P, Fitch lied about risk of toxic securities, AG charges

(Newser) - Ohio's attorney general sued the three biggest credit-rating agencies today on behalf of state employee retirement funds that lost $457 million in complex securities that imploded in the financial crisis. Richard Cordray alleges Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch conspired with issuers of the high-risk investments to give top ratings... More »

Looking for Extra Credit, Schools Get Downgraded

(Newser) - The credit crunch is starting to hit even top-tier universities, the Wall Street Journal reports. Both Moody’s and S&P stripped Dartmouth of its AAA rating this week. It’s the 20th college Moody’s has downgraded this year. “That’s comparable to the rate of downgrades universities... More »

Rating Agency Again Judges USA AAA

Uncle Sam's debt holds steady despite 'negative pressure'

(Newser) - Moody’s today reassured investors that the United States government won’t lose its AAA credit rating…yet. Last week Standard & Poor warned that it might soon drop Britain’s debt rating, sparking panic that other governments could follow. A Moody’s VP said the US’ rating is the... More »

Dow Worries Its Way Down 130

(Newser) - Markets were off today on news that credit raters might downgrade England and other countries, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though oil remained stable, the stocks of construction-related firms like Home Depot, Caterpillar, and Alcoa plunged; the price of gold surged. The Dow was off 129.91 to 8,292.... More »

Stocks Plummet on UK's Credit Woes

(Newser) - Stocks plummeted at today’s open after Standard & Poor’s warned it might downgrade the UK’s credit rating, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow tumbled 126 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P each fell more than 1%. Investors now fear other major economies, including the US,... More »

Credit Rating Agencies Off-Base But Bullet-Proof

(Newser) - Until the day Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, all three of the major credit-ratings agencies swore its debt was safe, rating it A or better. They rated AIG at AA. And they gave 75% of the $3.2 trillion of subprime mortgage securities iron-clad AAA ratings. Moody’s, S&P and... More »

Shopping Mall Giant Goes Bankrupt

Second-largest U.S. mall owner can't refinance billions in debt

(Newser) - Chicago-based General Growth Properties, the second-largest US shopping mall owner, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today after attempts to refinance more than $27 billion in debt failed, Bloomberg reports. The owner of more than 200 shopping malls owes a unit of Germany’s Commerzbank $2.6 billion, while bondholders are... More »

Disgraced Credit Raters See Windfall in Fed Plan

Moody's, S&P could earn big rating Fed bond deals

(Newser) - Credit-rating companies faulted for their role in creating the financial crisis could rake in more than $1 billion in Ben Bernanke’s new plan to prop up the financial system, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Fed is planning $7 billion worth of bond deals, and they'll need the approval... More »

Investors Flee GE Despite Soaring Profits

Fears about GE's capital arm and a possible loss of AAA rating stoke concerns

(Newser) - General Electric, long considered a reliable growth company paying an attractive dividend, is taking a beating ahead of a possible cut to its AAA debt rating, Bloomberg reports. Though GE recently posted its third-highest annual profit ever, the company has lost $264 billion in market value in 12 months and... More »

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