Standard & Poor’s

  • About that plane over S&P

    Who sent an aerial message to Wall Street?

    Earlier today, a plane flew over S&P headquarters trailing a banner that read:

    Thanks for the downgrade, you should all be fired.

    Fortune has learned that the person who paid to fly the banner is a Midwestern broker, who woke up last night with the need to vent at those who she believes are leading the nation into an economic morass.

    "I originally wanted to fly MORE

    - Aug 9, 2011 1:36 PM ET
  • Don't look to the Fed for a rescue

    There are not many options left for our nation's lender of last resort. Expect strong words from Bernanke & Co. without strong actions.

    FORTUNE – When Federal Reserve policymakers meet today, they'll face a starkly different set of conditions than at their last meeting less than two months ago.

    In recent weeks, a spate of bad economic data has rattled markets. The economy grew by only 1.3% during the three months ending MORE

    - Aug 9, 2011 9:41 AM ET
  • S&P's worst-case scenario may be the most likely

    Standard and Poor's presents three possibilities, and the scariest is the closest to reality: One where we get swallowed by our own debt.

    FORTUNE -- In Friday's report downgrading U.S. sovereign debt, S&P evaluated what it considers the three most likely courses for the budget and the economy. The "base case," the one that not only led to the new AA+ rating, but keeps our long-term debt on "negative" watch, is MORE

    - Aug 9, 2011 5:00 AM ET
  • Wall Street to investors: Don't panic

    Wall Street believes that its cool response and analytical reasoning will help alleviate any major panic on Monday. But panic is at its core irrational, and trying to fight it can be futile.

    By Cyrus Sanati, contributor

    FORTUNE -- Wall Street is jumping to the defense of the United States government following Standard & Poor's decision Friday night to downgrade its sovereign debt. The financial community is circling the wagons in an MORE

    Aug 7, 2011 9:29 AM ET
  • U.S. downgrade a crossroads for S&P

    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 MORE

    - Aug 6, 2011 3:12 PM ET
  • Staring down a AA-rating

    A deal was reached, but it didn't go far enough to satisfy S&P's original requirements. A debt downgrade still looks likely, but does it really matter?

    FORTUNE -- The U.S. might have avoided a debt default and a government shutdown, but the deal Congress reached to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit does little to improve its long-term fiscal position. After weeks of political wrangling that culminated in a rushed MORE

    - Aug 2, 2011 11:13 AM ET
  • 5 states at risk in the debt ceiling debate

    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 MORE

    - Jul 27, 2011 10:54 AM ET
  • Life after a debt downgrade: Clawing back to AAA

    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 MORE

    Jul 18, 2011 10:30 AM ET
  • S&P: Why we downgraded our U.S. outlook

    How does the rating agency decide when to downgrade its outlook for sovereign debt? It turns out that politics does influence the decision.

    Nikola Swann knew that he would be thrust into the firestorm raging in Washington D.C. over America's growing debt burden.

    Swann is the analyst at Standard & Poor's who monitors the United States for events that could threaten the country's status as a top-tier borrower. From his perch in MORE

    - Apr 25, 2011 11:07 AM ET
  • A U.S. debt downgrade isn't the real problem

    Standard & Poor's has a lot of people worried about the implications of a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. The real worry is what our debt levels will do to the value of the dollar.

    FORTUNE -- There's been a lot of hand-wringing and posturing over Standard & Poor's announcement that it has changed its outlook for the U.S. Treasury's long-term debt to "negative" for the first time since it MORE

    - Apr 25, 2011 8:56 AM ET
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