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Credit Ratings

June 22, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Moody's Investors Service slashed the credit ratings of more than a dozen giant global banks amid worries that Europe's economic turmoil could slow both profit and growth. The downgrades, announced after the close of U.S. financial markets Thursday, included Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. The move came as the 15 banks singled out by Moody's try to navigate through the European debt crisis, which could have a major effect on their trading businesses.
June 16, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Nokia Corp., the faltering Finnish cellphone maker, closed out the week with another hit to its financial condition: Moody's Investors Service downgraded its credit rating to junk status. Moody's cut the company's rating a notch to Ba1, a non-investment grade level, from Baa3. Moody's was the last of the three major credit ratings firms, after Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, to reduce Nokia's credit to junk status. On Thursday, Nokia said it would slash 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of next year, shut down several research and manufacturing facilities and restructure the business.
June 15, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Nokia Corp., the Finnish phone maker already in a world of hurt, had its credit rating downgraded to junk status by Moody's Investors Service on Friday. The company's rating fell a notch to Ba1, from Baa3, and is now held at junk status by all three major credit ratings agencies, including Fitch and Standard & Poor's. On Thursday, the company said it would slash 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013, shut down several research and manufacturing facilities and restructure the business.
May 23, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Moody's Investors Service raised the credit rating of Ford Motor Co. to an investment grade, giving its seal of approval to a corporate turnaround of the business that started with heavy borrowing at the end of 2006. The move Tuesday returns control of the automaker's famous "Blue Oval" logo back to Ford. The logo, with the Ford name written in distinctive script, was first seen on a Model A in 1928 and was pledged as collateral to obtain the loans. Moody's raised its assessment of the creditworthiness of Ford's automotive operations to Baa3, up from Ba2. Ford Motor Credit Co., the automaker's finance arm, now has a rating of Baa3, up from Ba1. The investment rating is an important measure of corporate health and will reduce the automaker's borrowing expenses.
May 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Mariano Rajoy, Spain's prime minister, has found a new ally in his quest for lower borrowing rates and liquidity in his recession-racked country: France's new President Francoise Hollande. A week after his inauguration, Hollande met with Rajoy at the Elysee Palace to talk policy before heading to a European Union summit in Brussels later in the day. There, they'll likely present a unified front against Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has resisted Hollande's growth proposals in favor of deficit and debt cuts.
April 24, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Fitch Ratings likes what it currently sees in Ford Motor Co., upgrading the automaker's credit rating Tuesday to investment grade from its long-held junk status. Determining the Dearborn, Mich., giant to now have “sufficient financial flexibility,” the ratings agency boosted Ford's rating to BBB-minus from BB-plus. Fitch said it “believes that the work that has been accomplished has put the company in a solid position to withstand the significant cyclical and secular pressures faced by the global auto industry.” Ford, now the second-largest automaker in the U.S., maneuvered itself out of a near-collapse in 2006.
January 18, 2012 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles energy consultant Frederick H. Pickel was nominated Tuesday as the first ratepayer advocate to oversee proposed customer rate hikes at the city's Department of Water and Power. In a letter obtained by The Times, sent hours before a search panel was scheduled to announce its choice for the voter-created position, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa informed Pickel that city officials must "move quickly" on proposed increases. "Already the credit agencies have spoken about the department's need for increased revenue," Villaraigosa said in his letter.
January 14, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan and Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
Standard & Poor's stripped France of its coveted AAA credit rating and downgraded eight other Eurozone countries in a sign the continent's debt crisis has a way to go before being resolved. The action, announced after U.S. markets closed Friday, was somewhat expected since S&P warned in December that it might slash the ratings. Investors already had priced in the downgrades, for the most part — major global stock indexes suffered only moderate declines, and French bond yields went largely unaffected.
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