ratings agencies

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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 »

Justice Filing Suit Against S&P Over 2008 Meltdown

Feds will accuse firm of fraudulently rating mortgage bonds

(Newser) - The Justice Department and state prosecutors are filing a lawsuit against the Standard & Poor's Ratings Service for its apparent role in the 2008 financial meltdown, the New York Times reports. The civil suit will accuse S&P of rating mortgage bonds too highly before their value fell off... More »

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

Along with most of Europe's banks

(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... More »

Moody's Cuts Rating of 6 European Nations

Britain, France warned that triple-A is in danger

(Newser) - Moody's has followed fellow ratings agency Standard & Poor's lead with a mass downgrading of European credit ratings. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia—all of whose ratings were cut by S&P last month —were downgraded a notch. The agency also revised its outlook on... More »

S&P Downgrades France, Italy, 7 Others

Paris and Austria lose AAA status

(Newser) - Standard & Poor's has downgraded the government debt of France, Austria, Italy, and Spain by one notch, but maintained Germany's at the coveted 'AAA' level. The cuts, which eliminated France and Austria's triple-A status, deal a heavy blow to the currency union's ability to fight... More »

Moody's Downgrades Spain, Warns France

Sarkozy vows to take bold action at debt summit

(Newser) - Credit ratings in Europe are continuing to slide downward: Moody's has followed Standard & Poor’s lead and cut Spain's rating by two notches, warning that France could be next, reports the Washington Post . "Spain continues to be vulnerable to market stress and event risk," said... More »

SEC Sees 'Apparent Failures' at Ratings Agencies

But new report doesn't offer specifics about the companies

(Newser) - The SEC wagged its finger at the ratings agency industry today, accusing each of the 10 registered companies of "apparent failures" in key areas, including how they manage conflicts of interest, reports Reuters . Alas, those looking for specifics against the likes of Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor'... 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 »

S&P Downgrades Italy

Euro falls on the news

(Newser) - The US isn’t singing the downgrade blues alone; S&P knocked Italy down a peg today, citing concerns about its economic growth and its fragile governing coalition. The agency slashed Italy’s rating to “A,” or five ranks above junk status, and maintained its negative outlook, according... More »

Moody's Downgrades French Banks

Greek debt crisis hits SocGen, Credit Agricole

(Newser) - The Greek debt crisis has hit the credit rating of two of France's biggest banks. Moody's has downgraded Societe Generale and Credit Agricole by a notch, and warned the country's biggest bank, BNP Paribas, that it may be next in line. The banks have seen their share... More »

Japan's Credit Rating Cut

Moody's drops country to fourth-highest rating

(Newser) - Japan has joined the US on the list of countries to have its credit rating downgraded because of debt worries. But for the Japanese, the downgrade is just the latest in a long series of bad news. Moody's has cut Japan's rating by a notch to the fourth... More »

Feds Probing Standard and Poor's

Agency's behavior before financial crisis in spotlight

(Newser) - Looks like Standard & Poor's could be in for a downgrade of its own—from the Justice Department. Federal investigators are probing possible wrongdoing at the credit ratings agency in the years leading up to the financial crisis, sources tell the New York Times . The probe, expected to lead... More »

Fitch Reaffirms AAA Rating

Also says outlook on US ratings is stable

(Newser) - Take that, Standard & Poor's: Fitch Ratings says it will keep its rating on US debt at the highest grade, AAA, and says its outlook on the US ratings is stable. Fitch cited the United States' "flexible, diversified, and wealthy economy," as well as its flexibility in... More »

S&P's Ratings Are Worthless

Nate Silver runs the numbers, and scoffs at ratings firm

(Newser) - Don’t put too much stock in Standard & Poor’s much ballyhooed credit ratings—because they’re astonishingly bad. Nate Silver of the New York Times ran an analysis on S&P’s ratings from five years ago, and found that, had you heeded them, they “would have... More »

S&P Downgrades Nation's Triple-A Rating

Agency delivers historic setback to U.S.

(Newser) - Goodbye AAA, hello AA+. In a rough milestone, S&P has downgraded the nation's Triple-A rating for the first time, reports the Wall Street Journal . The move came even though the Treasury Department pointed out a $2 trillion math error in the agency's debt projections that delayed but... 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 »

S&P: Greek Rescue Plan Would Count as a Default

Credit rating firm rejects French banks' plans

(Newser) - Greece got yet more bad news today, when Standard & Poor's issued a statement saying that a proposed rescue plan from banks in France "would likely amount to a default" as far as it was concerned. French banks planned to roll over their holdings in the country's... More »

Wall Street Cleverly Carves Up Bad Assets

So cleverly, in fact, that regulators are getting worried

(Newser) - Wall Street’s financial magicians have come up with a way to transform toxic assets into shiny new ones. In popular new deals called “re-remics,” a sour mortgage-backed security is split in two, one containing all the good mortgages, the other all the bad, the Wall Street Journal... 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 »

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 »

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