S&P slashed ratings on thousands of municipal bonds this week in a largely symbolic move. No major state and local governments were included, but that doesn't mean they're all in the clear.
By Cyrus Sanati, contributor
FORTUNE -- The S&P downgrade machine cut through the U.S. municipal bond market earlier this week, stripping thousands of securities of their coveted triple-A credit rating. While on the surface the pruning of the muni space MOREAug 11, 2011 10:30 AM ET
S&P and Moody's don't agree on the creditworthiness of the United States. Is their dispute unusual?
Standard & Poor's on Friday night slammed the U.S. economy and its political system, lowering the nation's AAA credit rating for the first time in history. Rival credit rating agency Moody's dissented, reaffirming its Aaa rating while placing the country on negative credit watch.
Some analysts have been making hay of the discrepancy, particularly as a MOREDan Primack - Aug 8, 2011 10:46 AM ET
The rating agency's move to downgrade U.S. debt could make it a leader among rating agencies or blow up in its face.
FORTUNE -- In the rating move heard 'round the world, Standard & Poor's lowered the credit rating of the United States, saying that the country could someday miss a debt payment due to its deeply divided government. The move not only creates a huge amount of uncertainty for investors MOREKatie Benner - Aug 6, 2011 3:12 PM ET
Moody's expects to downgrade five states if the debt ceiling isn't raised. How these states — most led by Republicans — became totally dependent on federal dollars.
FORTUNE – Tensions are boiling over in Washington as U.S. lawmakers negotiate a plan to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit. With an Aug. 2 deadline fast approaching, the U.S. government is nowhere close to forging a deal -- an impasse that puts its MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Jul 27, 2011 10:54 AM ET
We know how the U.S. can lose its top-notch credit rating. The question is how do we restore it? The answer isn't so simple.
By Tory Newmyer, writer
FORTUNE -- It would be relatively easy for the U.S. to lose its prized AAA credit rating. All our policymakers need to do between now and Aug. 2 -- when the federal government reaches the end of its borrowing authority -- is nothing. At MOREJul 18, 2011 10:30 AM ET
The congressional Republicans aiming to blow up the government took us past a scary new milestone Wednesday.
Moody's put the United States' triple-A credit rating on review for a possible downgrade, citing a "small but rising risk of a short-lived default."
The move comes after talks broke down between the White House and Republicans in Congress over raising the U.S. debt ceiling. One so-called Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said progress MOREColin Barr - Jul 13, 2011 5:22 PM ET
Ready for another bailout of Ireland? Moody's is.
The rating agency slashed Ireland's ratings to junk Tuesday, just three months after its last downgrade of the debt-soaked former Celtic Tiger. Moody's warned that Ireland isn't likely to be able to raise funds in the bond market after its current bailout loan expires at the end of 2013.
Ireland, laid low by its decision to bail out its reckless, feckless banks, took 85 billion MOREColin Barr - Jul 12, 2011 4:02 PM ET
After a long simmer, Europe's debt crisis is coming to a boil.
The market has turned against the Continent with a vengeance. European bank stocks sold off for the second straight day, while the euro sank against both the dollar (see chart, right) and the Swiss franc.
The euro hit $1.41, down a nickel from its recent high just ahead of the July 4 holiday here. Big European financial companies, ranging from Deutsche MOREColin Barr - Jul 11, 2011 11:47 AM ET
The tiny country has caught the Greek contagion and it could spread even faster from here.
By Cyrus Sanati, contributor
FORTUNE -- All eyes are on Italy this week, but they shouldn't overlook Portugal, which has also caught the Greek flu -- and it's serious. Moody's downgraded the tiny European nation's sovereign debt to junk status last week on fears that it would need a second bailout from Europe to pay off MOREJul 11, 2011 8:34 AM ET
A whole day without European debt fireworks is too much to ask for, apparently.
Moody's said Friday that it may downgrade Italy's debt, thanks to "fragile market sentiment" for deeply indebted European governments. It is the first downgrade warning for one of the stronger European economies since the Greek debt crisis flared up this spring.
The rating agency said that as investors grow more risk averse, Italy -- currently rated Aa2, the second-highest rating -- MOREColin Barr - Jun 17, 2011 3:47 PM ET
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