Fitch Cuts BP’s Credit Rating to Two Levels Above ‘Junk’

The BP Plc company logo is displayed on a sign at a BP gas station in Romford, U.K. (Bloomberg)

June 15 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc’s credit rating was cut to two levels above “junk” by Fitch Ratings on concern over the potential cost of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and meeting future liabilities.

BP’s long-term issuer default and senior unsecured ratings were lowered six levels to BBB from AA, Fitch said in a statement today. That follows a reduction from AA+ on June 3.

Read moreFitch Cuts BP’s Credit Rating to Two Levels Above ‘Junk’

Fitch Downgrades Spain’s Credit Rating as Europe Battles Debt Crisis

May 29 (Bloomberg) — Spain lost its AAA credit grade at Fitch Ratings as Europe battles a debt crisis that’s prompted policy makers to forge an almost $1 trillion bailout package for the region’s weakest economies.

The ratings company cut the grade one step yesterday to AA+ and assigned it a “stable” outlook, according to a statement from London. Spain has held the top rating at Fitch since 2003. Standard & Poor’s lowered Spain’s ratings to AA on April 28.

“The process of adjustment to a lower level of private sector and external indebtedness will materially reduce the rate of growth of the Spanish economy over the medium-term,” Brian Coulton, Fitch’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings in London, said in the statement.

Read moreFitch Downgrades Spain’s Credit Rating as Europe Battles Debt Crisis

Elite Puppet Credit Rating Agencies Playing Big Roll In European Debt Crisis

Only very few people are brave enough to call the financial crisis what it really is and that is financial terrorism.

One of those few people is Max Keiser:

Max Keiser on Greece: ‘The IMF is a Financial Mafia’

Max Keiser on the Greek Crisis (with Greek subtitles)

The entire financial crisis is an engineered crisis. It’s a controlled demolition.

The elite is looting and bankrupting the people everywhere, and when the people will finally beg in total despair for a solution, then the elite will present to them the New World Order (world government, a new world reserve currency etc.) as only possible solution to all the problems that the elite has created in the first place.

The elite controls/owns/runs governments, central banks, Wall Street, the mass media and of course useless rating agencies (that gave AAA ratings to bundled junk).

Credit Rating Agencies Playing Big Roll In European Debt Crisis


NEW YORK — The downgrading of European debt is turning up the heat on the firms that issue the ratings.

Some European officials are calling for curbs on rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Corp. and Fitch Ratings. They argue that conflicts of interest and bad information make the agencies’ assessments unreliable, even dangerous.

Germany’s foreign minister went so far Thursday as to suggest that the European Union should create its own rating agency. He spoke after downgrades of Greece and Portugal roiled financial markets and stoked fears that Europe’s debt crisis was spreading.

How ratings agencies are paid is also coming under scrutiny. The money they earn comes from the institutions whose products and debt they rate – a point of contention in the U.S. and Europe. At a hearing last week on the agencies’ role in the financial crisis, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin called that pay system an “inherent conflict of interest.”

Legislation in Congress to overhaul the financial regulatory system could change how the rating agencies do business. Critics (= Analysts, economists, investors that are not bought and paid for by the elite.) note that the agencies gave safe ratings to high-risk U.S. mortgage investments that later imploded, triggering the financial crisis and a deep recession.

Read moreElite Puppet Credit Rating Agencies Playing Big Roll In European Debt Crisis

Fitch Downgrades Portugal’s Credit Rating Over Debt Concerns

portugal-credit-rating-downgraded-over-debt-concerns The government’s tough budget went unopposed by other parties

Portugal’s credit rating has been downgraded from AA to AA- by leading credit rating agency Fitch over concerns about its high levels of debt.

Earlier this month, Portugal passed an austerity budget aimed at cutting its budget deficit.

The downgrade heightened concerns about the health of some of Europe’s heavily indebted economies, forcing the euro lower against the dollar and the pound.

The euro slid against the dollar to its lowest point since May 2009.

It dropped 1.5 cents, or 1.1%, to $1.3346. Against the pound, the euro fell 0.2 pence to 89.55p.

The downgrade also sent major European stock markets into negative territory.

European impact

“A sizeable fiscal shock against a backdrop of relative macroeconomic and structural weaknesses has reduced Portugal’s creditworthiness,” said Douglas Renwick from Fitch Ratings.

Although the agency said Portugal’s austerity budget was “credible”, it said the government would need “to implement sizeable consolidation measures from next year”, as well as reverse stimulus measures this year, in order to get its debt levels under control.

The Portuguese Minister of Finance, Teixeira dos Santos, said it was key to maintain efforts to cut the budget deficit in order to differentiate the country from Greece.

“I am worried because we know that markets overshoot sometimes in their reactions,” he said. “The risk exists, I cannot ignore that.”

The downgrade could mean Portugal has to pay higher yields on government bonds to attract investors, making it more expensive for the country to borrow money – even though other leading ratings agencies may not necessarily follow Fitch’s lead.

Analysts stressed the wider European impact the downgrade could have.

“The downgrade has more impact on the wider sovereign debt crisis, rather than on Portugal at the moment,” said Peter Chatwell at Credit Agricole.

There have been widespread concerns about the high levels of debt of a number of European countries, most notably Greece.

At the end of last year, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, the second of the three major international credit ratings agencies, downgraded Greek government debt.

European leaders are currently discussing how best to deal with Greece’s debt crisis.

Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Source: BBC NEWS

Fitch warns Britain and questions Greek rescue as sovereign risks grow

Fitch Ratings has delivered a serious blow to the credibility of the Government’s budget plans, warning that Britain risks a loss of investor confidence and erosion of its AAA rating unless it maps out clear austerity measures.

Fitch warns Britain and questions Greek rescue as sovereign risks grow

Brian Coulton, the agency’s head of sovereign ratings, said the UK has seen “the most rapid rise in the ratio of public debt to GDP of any AAA-rated country” and is courting fate with its leisurely plan to halve the deficit by the middle of the decade.

“It is frankly too slow, a pedestrian pace. Why the UK thinks it has more time than other countries , we’re not sure. This needs to be reoriented,” he told the Fitch forum on sovereign hotspots.

A string of European states are stepping up the pace of retrenchment, aiming to cut deficits to 3pc of GDP within three years. The risk is that Britain will soon stick out like a sore thumb, left behind with a shockingly large deficit long after such loose fiscal policy can be justified as a crisis measure. The UK deficit this year is 12.6pc of GDP, the highest among G10 states.

Read moreFitch warns Britain and questions Greek rescue as sovereign risks grow

In The Worst Possible Moment, Fitch Downgrades Greece’s Largest Banks To BBB

Bund Spread Jumps 10 Bps To 325


And just as Greece was about to launch its 10 year bond offering… Where is Papandreou to claim that Fitch was bought by all the accounts (who may or may not invest in the €5 billion issue) to make the price even better.

Because the spread to Bunds just jumped by about 10 bps to 325 following the news. Fitch notes: “The rating actions reflect Fitch’s view that the banks’ already weakening asset quality and profitability will come under further pressure due to anticipated considerable fiscal adjustments in Greece.

In particular, Fitch believes the required fiscal tightening that needs to be made by the Greek government will have a significant effect on the real economy, affecting loan demand and putting additional pressure on asset quality.

The latter could result in higher credit costs, ultimately weakening underlying profitability.” In the US, where any news is good news, equities jump following the headline.

From Fitch:

Fitch Ratings-Barcelona/London-23 February 2010: Fitch Ratings has today downgraded the Long-term and Short-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Greece’s four largest banks,  National Bank of Greece (NBG), Alpha Bank  (Alpha), Efg Eurobank Ergasias (Eurobank) and Piraeus Bank (Piraeus) to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’ and ‘F3’ from ‘F2′ respectively. The Outlook on the Long-term IDRs is Negative.

At the same time, the agency has downgraded the banks’ Individual Ratings to ‘C’ from ‘B/C’, whilst the ratings of the banks’ senior, subordinated and hybrid capital instruments have all been downgraded by one notch. The Support Ratings and Support Rating Floors (SRF) of all four banks have been affirmed.

A full rating breakdown is provided at the end of this comment.  Separately, Fitch has also affirmed Agricultural Bank of Greece’s (ATEbank) Long-term IDR at ‘BBB-‘, which is on its SRF, and Short-term IDR at ‘F3’. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Negative. ATEbank’s IDRs, Support Rating and SRF are based on sovereign support as the bank is majority-owned by the Greek state (rated ‘BBB+’/Negative Outlook).

Read moreIn The Worst Possible Moment, Fitch Downgrades Greece’s Largest Banks To BBB

Fitch: US Must Cut Spending To Save AAA Rating; US December Deficit Nearly Doubles

The US government has looted the taxpayer through bailouts for Wall Steet banksters and stimulus packages like there is no tomorrow.

Here is what Obama had to say about deficit spending:

“Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” Obama said in a 2006 floor speech that preceded a Senate vote to extend the debt limit. “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”
– Barack Obama

Here is what Obama is really doing:

December deficit nearly doubles (CNN Money):

NEW YORK ( — The U.S. government posted a deficit of $91.9 billion in December, nearly double the shortfall of a year earlier and marking the government’s 15th straight month in the red, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.

The shortfall brings the total deficit for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 to $388.5 billion, up from $332 billion during the same period last year.

It was the second consecutive December the government spent more than it took in. In December 2008, the deficit was $51.8 billion.

Obviously Obama is much, much worse than Bush. A task that I thought was almost impossible to achieve.

This is Obamanomics, looting the US taxpayer until there is nothing left:

Nobel Peace Laureate Obama seeks additional $33 billion for wars, on top of a record request for $708 billion for the Defense Department (AP)

Obama administration posts widest-ever October budget deficit (AP)

–  US budget deficit tripled to a record $1.4 trillion in 2009 (Wall Street Journal)

Many Americans still think that Obama is on ‘their’ side. Here is the truth about Obamanomics:

“When a country embarks on deficit financing and inflationism you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.”
– Ron Paul

“Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers.”
– Ron Paul

Fitch Ratings has issued the starkest warning to date that the US will lose its AAA credit rating unless acts to bring the budget deficit under control, citing a spiral in debt service costs and dependence on foreign lenders.


Fitch warns the US must cut spending and raise taxes to cut its deficit to save its AAA rating. Despite better-than-expected retail sales in December, consumers are struggling and the deficit is out of control. Photo: AFP

Brian Coulton, the agency’s head of sovereign ratings, said the US is shielded for now by its pivotal role in global finance and the dollar’s status as the key reserve currency, but the picture is deteriorating fast enough to ring alarm bells.

“Difficult decisions will have to be made regarding spending and tax to underpin market confidence in the long-run sustainability of public finances. In the absence of measures to reduce the budget deficit over the next three to five years, government indebtedness will approach levels by the latter half of the decade that will bring pressure to bear on the US’s ‘AAA’ status”, he said.

Fitch expects the combined state and federal debt to reach 94pc of GDP next year, up from 57pc at the end of 2007. Federal interest costs will reach 13pc of revenues, meaning that an eighth of all taxes will go to service debt. Most fiscal experts view this level as dangerously close to the point of no return for debt dynamics.

The rating alert is a reminder that fiscal stimulus and bank rescues across the world have merely shifted private debt on to public shoulders. The bail-outs looked deceptively ‘costless’ at the time, but the damage to sovereign states may take years to repair. The US Treasury says interest payments as a share of GDP will rise to 3.6pc by 2016, the highest since data began in 1940 – when it was 0.8pc.

Read moreFitch: US Must Cut Spending To Save AAA Rating; US December Deficit Nearly Doubles

Fitch warns: Britain and France risk losing their AAA rating

Fitch Ratings has given its bluntest warning to date that Britain and France risk losing their AAA status unless they map out a clear path to budget discipline over the next year.


Highlighting the “unpleasant fiscal arithmetic” facing states across the Old World, Fitch said that none of the “arguably” benchmark AAA states can safely rely on their top rating for much longer.

Public debt in both Britain and France will reach 90pc of GDP by 2011, higher than the 80pc (net) level when Japan lost its AAA rating earlier this decade.

Japan’s error at the time was the failure to set out any serious plan to rein in spending, a lesson that the Europeans need to study closely. “The UK, Spain, and France must articulate credible fiscal consolidation programmes over the coming year, given the budgetary challenges they face in stabilising public debt. Failure to do so will greatly intensify pressure on their sovereign ratings,” it said.

Brian Coulton, Fitch’s global strategist, said Labour had fallen well short in the pre-Budget report. “They did not articulate fully what needs to be done,” he said.

Read moreFitch warns: Britain and France risk losing their AAA rating

Fitch downgrades Greece’s debt rating to BBB+ with negative outlook

Related articles:

Greece Finance Minister Says No Risk of Default (Bloomberg)

Greece to Reporters: We’re Not Dubai or Iceland (Wall Street Journal)

Here is why Greece is not Dubai or Iceland:

Greece is a member of the European Union since 1981, which makes all the difference.

The EU: ‘Only ‘EUnited’ we fail!’

(Click on image to enlarge.)

ATHENS, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Ratings agency Fitch cut Greece’s debt to BBB+ on Tuesday with a negative outlook, the latest blow to the troubled euro zone country, driving its bonds, bank shares and the euro itself lower.

The cut was the first time in 10 years a major ratings agency has dropped Greece below an A grade. Fitch cited fiscal deterioration in one of the 16-member currency bloc’s most indebted member states.

“The downgrade reflects concerns over the medium-term outlook for public finances given the weak credibility of fiscal institutions and the policy framework in Greece,” Fitch said in a statement, calling for austere fiscal policies.

“The lack of substantive structural policy measures reduces confidence that medium term consolidation efforts will be aggressive enough to ensure public debt ratios are stabilised and then reduced over the next three to five years,” it said.

Read moreFitch downgrades Greece’s debt rating to BBB+ with negative outlook