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BUSINESS
August 29, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher
The country's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, has dropped a lawsuit against Fitch Ratings without receiving any monetary settlement. The 2009 lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court accused Fitch and two other credit rating firms, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Corp., of negligently misrepresenting the financial strength of three so-called structured investment vehicles the companies rated. CalPERS sank more than $1 billion into the three investment funds, which held mainly mortgage-backed securities and were hit with large losses after the U.S. economy began to collapse in 2007.
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WORLD
October 25, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Brand South Africa, the body charged with marketing the nation abroad, has had a tough month. The International Monetary Fund on Oct. 1 downgraded its growth forecast for South Africa and called on the government to take tougher action to make the country more competitive, increase economic growth and tackle chronically high unemployment. Then came BMW's abrupt and embarrassing announcement Oct. 3 that the company had canceled plans to expand its South African operation, because of the cost of successive strikes.
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BUSINESS
November 7, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Fitch Ratings said that there would be "no fiscal honeymoon" for President Obama, warning early Wednesday that the U.S. probably would lose its AAA credit rating if the White House and Congress don't address looming tax increases, spending cuts and the fast-approaching debt ceiling. "The economic policy challenge facing the president is to put in place a credible deficit-reduction plan necessary to underpin economic recovery and confidence in the full faith and credit of the U.S.," said Fitch, one of the three major credit rating companies.
NEWS
October 15, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, Lisa Mascaro and Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - A frantic day of legislative maneuvering ended in futility Tuesday for Speaker John A. Boehner, as the most conservative members of the House refused to back his proposed compromise to end the standoff over the federal budget. The failure leaves a bipartisan Senate plan negotiated by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the sole legislative way out of a stalemate that risks a U.S. default on its bills and huge economic disruptions.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Fitch Ratings cut Spain's long-term issuer rating three notches to BBB from A, putting it two levels above junk. The ratings agency also set a negative outlook for the struggling country, citing worries about contagion from Greece and doubts about the Spanish government's ability to take strong action to shore up its banks without international support, given its “high level of foreign indebtedness.” The banking sector could require 60...
BUSINESS
December 5, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California has made "notable progress" improving the state government's financial health since the economic downturn, according to Fitch Ratings, a New York debt-rating service. In a statement Wednesday, Fitch praised the state for winning approval of two tax increase initiatives last month and for making significant spending cuts over the last several years. But the firm noted that the state still has room to improve. "The state's fiscal recovery is incomplete and challenges remain, but continued economic improvement, a demonstrated commitment to more sustainable budgetary operations and progress on reducing budgetary debt would be viewed positively by Fitch," said Doug Offerman, a senior director.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Without the unprecedented stimulus actions by the federal government triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, the Great Recession might still be going on, according to a study by Fitch Ratings. Those incentives, however, came with a price: accelerated budget deficits and rock-bottom interest rates that hurt savers, according to the credit rating company. Still, the $700-billion bailout fund, the $831-billion stimulus package and the Federal Reserve's near-zero interest rates, among other federal efforts, continue to spur the nation's economy, the study released Wednesday concludes.
BUSINESS
August 9, 2006
* Executive search firm Korn/Ferry International of Los Angeles said it had agreed to buy Lominger Ltd. of Minneapolis for $24 million in cash, adding recruiting, assessment and training materials for businesses. * Xerox Corp. won an investment-grade credit rating as Fitch Ratings raised its recommendation.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp.'s debt rating was cut another level below investment grade by Fitch Ratings, which cited concern about whether the automaker had done enough to reduce its North American operating costs and end losses. GM's rating was reduced to B from B-plus, Fitch said. The rating, now five levels below investment grade, has a negative outlook, meaning Fitch may downgrade GM again.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Shares of Xerox Corp. fell after the company cut its profit forecast nearly 80% on restructuring costs and slowing technology spending. First-quarter profit will be 3 to 5 cents a share, down from an earlier forecast of 16 to 20 cents, Xerox said. Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings both revised their outlook for the Norwalk, Conn., company to negative, reflecting challenging economic conditions. Xerox shares fell $1, or 19%, to $4.34.
BUSINESS
July 19, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The shrinking budget deficit and improving economy has led Moody's Investor Services to affirm the nation's AAA credit rating and upgrade the outlook for government debt to stable from a negative watch that could have led to a downgrade. But Moody's warned that failure to address the long-term budget deficit "could put the rating again under pressure" down the road. For the short term, however, the tax increases and automatic federal spending cuts that began this year have helped cause a "steep decline" in the budget deficit that warranted removing the negative outlook, Moody's said.
BUSINESS
June 10, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Standard & Poor's, which downgraded the U.S. credit rating nearly two years ago, said Monday it was more optimistic about the nation's long-term fiscal situation and had removed the negative outlook from the rating. The automatic federal spending cuts that began March 1 and other recent developments that led to a reduction in this year's projected federal budget deficit caused S&P to change the outlook for the U.S. rating to stable. S&P analysts also said they did not see signs that partisanship in Washington on fisical issues had become worse and were encouraged by the last-minute deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of 2012.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department plans to file a civil lawsuit against Standard & Poor's for its ratings of mortgage-related investments leading up to the financial crisis, the company said Monday. The suit focuses on S&P's ratings in 2007 of some collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs -- securities that pool bonds and other assets, the company said. Such a suit "would be entirely without factual or legal merit," S&P said. "It would disregard the central facts that S&P reviewed the same subprime mortgage data as the rest of the market - including U.S. government officials who in 2007 publicly stated that problems in the subprime market appeared to be contained - and that every CDO that DOJ has cited to us also independently received the same rating from another rating agency," S&P said.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - As Congress again veers close to the nation's debt limit, a leading credit rating company is delivering a stark warning: Don't wait until the last minute. Fitch Ratings said Tuesday that the U.S. could lose its AAA credit rating if lawmakers don't raise the $16.4-trillion debt limit in a "timely manner" as a possible default looms as early as mid-February. Congressional Republicans want major government spending cuts in exchange for another debt-limit increase. But Fitch, one of three major credit-rating companies, said the debt limit should not be used as leverage.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera, This post has been updated. See notes below
WASHINGTON -- Moody's Investors Service  warned Wednesday that the "fiscal cliff" tax deal was not enough to remove the risk of a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. The company, one of three major credit rating firms, said the deal approved Tuesday night to raise about $620 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years was "a further step in clarifying the medium-term deficit and debt trajectory of the federal government. " But the package, which averted income tax increases on most Americans, did not produce "meaningful improvement" in the ratio of the federal government's debt to its economic output.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California has made "notable progress" improving the state government's financial health since the economic downturn, according to Fitch Ratings, a New York debt-rating service. In a statement Wednesday, Fitch praised the state for winning approval of two tax increase initiatives last month and for making significant spending cuts over the last several years. But the firm noted that the state still has room to improve. "The state's fiscal recovery is incomplete and challenges remain, but continued economic improvement, a demonstrated commitment to more sustainable budgetary operations and progress on reducing budgetary debt would be viewed positively by Fitch," said Doug Offerman, a senior director.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
California's bond rating was cut for the second time in two days, with New York-based Fitch Ratings lowering its assessment three levels because of a projected $34.8-billion budget deficit in the next two fiscal years. Fitch cited the growing deficit Friday as the trigger for cutting its rating on $23.5 billion in general obligation bonds to A from AA. On Thursday, Standard & Poor's cut it to A from A+.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California has made "notable progress" in improving the state government's financial health since the recession and the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, according to Fitch Ratings. The New York debt-rating service issued a statement Wednesday praising the state for winning approval of two tax increase initiatives last month and for making significant spending cuts over the last several years. "The state's fiscal recovery is incomplete and challenges remain, but continued economic improvement, a demonstrated commitment to more sustainable budgetary operations and progress on reducing budgetary debt would be viewed positively by Fitch," said Doug Offerman, a senior director.
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