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Moody's Found Wild Red Flags in Review of 472M Companies

Including a 943-year-old director

(Newser) - Being the director of a company is impressive. Being a 943-year-old director is ... a big red flag, at least in Moody's Analytics' view. On Monday it released a special report detailing what it calls the "seven indicators of shell company risk" based on the findings of its Moody'...

Puerto Rico Defaults on Debt
 Puerto Rico Defaults on Debt 

Puerto Rico Defaults on Debt

US island territory fails to make $58M debt payment

(Newser) - The government of Puerto Rico has confirmed that it failed to make a $58 million debt payment that was due Saturday, a significant escalation of the debt crisis facing the US island territory. Puerto Rican officials had warned on Friday that they would not make the payment because the island...

Lew: The Government Runs Out of Money in 3 Weeks

Jack Lew says we need a debt ceiling deal by Oct. 17

(Newser) - Treasury Secretary Jack Lew today for the first time offered a debt ceiling deadline—and it's pretty soon. In a letter to John Boehner, Lew said the government will be unable to pay its bills unless Congress passes a debt limit bump by Oct. 17. On that day, the...

Next Up: Debt Ceiling Showdown

But can you have a showdown if Obama refuses to show up?

(Newser) - President Obama signed the fiscal cliff tax deal last night, and you know what that means: Time for the debt ceiling fight! Technically, the government has already reached its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit, and is relying on "extraordinary measures" to get by. By the end of next month,...

France Loses AAA Rating on Weak Growth

Moody's downgrades the government's bond rating

(Newser) - Moody's Investors Service has downgraded France's government bond rating, citing the country's weak economic growth outlook and its exposure to Europe's economic crisis. The rating agency lowered France's rating one notch today from triple-A—its top rating—to Aa1. The outlook for the rating remains...

Moody's Threatens to Downgrade US

It's worried about the looming 'fiscal cliff'

(Newser) - Moody's Investors Service said today it would likely cut its "Aaa" rating on US government debt, probably by one notch, if federal budget negotiations fail. If the highly partisan Congress does not reach a budget deal, about $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases will automatically...

Moody's Cuts EU Outlook to Negative

Triple-A rating in danger, agency says

(Newser) - The European Union has somehow kept a triple-A credit rating throughout a years-long debt crisis—but maybe not for much longer. Moody's has lowered the bloc's outlook from stable to negative and warned that a downgrade could be on the way, reports the BBC . The ratings agency earlier...

German Credit Rating Downgraded to Negative

Move may indicate threat to Germany's AAA rating

(Newser) - Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg may have strong credit ratings, but that didn't stop Moody's from downgrading all three to "negative" yesterday, as the never-ending euro crisis continues to deepen, reports Reuters . The rating agency specifically warned about yesterday's threat by Germany to kick Greece out...

Moody's Cuts Debt Ratings of 28 Spanish Banks

Country's busted real estate bubble leaves banks vulnerable, agency says

(Newser) - Moody's Investor Service is cutting its credit ratings on 28 Spanish banks by one to four notches, saying the weakening finances of Spain's government is making it more difficult for that country to support its lenders. Moody's also said the banks are vulnerable to losses from Spain'...

Moody's Will Downgrade Spain's Banks
 Moody's Will 
 Spain's Banks 

Moody's Will Downgrade Spain's Banks

Across-the-board move coming within a few hours

(Newser) - Moody's intends to cut the credit rating on every single bank in Spain today, sources tell Reuters . The cuts, which could come in a matter of hours, follow on the heels of Moody's slashing Spain's sovereign rank by a whopping three grades on June 13. The banks...

Moody's Slams BofA, Citigroup With Downgrades

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs also walloped by rating agency

(Newser) - Moody's warned that the ax was coming , and today it came. The credit rating agency downgraded 15 major financial firms today in a move that is sure to hurt their bottom lines and rattle markets, the New York Times reports. Moody's knocked Credit Suisse down by three levels,...

Moody Cut Sends Spanish Bonds to Dangerous High

Italy's borrowing costs jump as well

(Newser) - Spanish bond yields hit a whopping 7% today, after Moody's cut the country's credit rating to just one level above "junk" yesterday. The New York Times ominously notes that the 7% mark is the level that "triggered" full-blown bailouts of other eurozone countries. Moody's said...

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...

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...

Moody's Scoffs at Europe Deal, Threatens Downgrades

Warning stems from concerns over widening growth gap

(Newser) - Despite the deal reached by European leaders to strengthen the euro zone, Moody's warned today that the crisis is still at a "critical and volatile stage" and that some European Union countries could still find their sovereign ratings downgraded. It expressed specific concern about the expanding growth gap...

Obama Unveils New Mortgage Relief Plan

Rules could help additional 1.6 million homeowners

(Newser) - President Barack Obama offered mortgage relief today to hundreds of thousands of Americans, his latest attempt to ease the economic and political fallout of a housing crisis that has bedeviled him as he seeks a second term. "I'm here to say that we can't wait for an...

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...

Moody's Downgrades Top UK Banks

Including Lloyds, RBS, which are partially nationalized

(Newser) - Moody’s sliced the credit ratings of a dozen British financial companies today, including two of the UK’s "Big Four" lenders, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, both of which were partially nationalized during the financial crisis. Moody’s explained that it "believes that the government is...

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...

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'...

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