Would Rating Downgrades Clip Bank Profits?

Moody's is reviewing 10 large regional banks for possible downgrades because it thinks financial reform means total government support is now less likely. That's setting off a debate about whether those banks will actually take a hit to profitability.

Moody's Downgrades Ireland's Credit Rating

Ireland had its credit rating cut lowered one notch by Moody%u2019s Investors Service on "a significant loss of financial strength." Moody%u2019s lowered the country%u2019s rating to Aa2 from Aa1. The outlook on the new rating is negative. The cost of bailing out the country%u2019s banks is increasing pressures on Ireland%u2019s public finances, Bloomberg News reported. The country%u2019s recession forced it to run a budget deficit of 14.3% of GDP in 2009. That%u2019s the widest deficit in the eurozone.

Moody's Slashes Portugal's Debt Rating

Moody's credit rating agency downgraded Portugal's debt by two notches Tuesday, to A1 from Aa2, citing weak growth and climbing debt levels over the past two years that will continue to sap the country's fiscal strength. Moody's expects conditions to continue to deteriorate for at least another two to three years before stabilizing.

Moody's Cuts Portugal's Rating as Debt Soars

Portugal, one of the countries at the heart of the European debt crisis, had its bonds downgraded by Moody's Investors Services Tuesday. The ratings agency warned that the Lisbon government's financial strength will continue to weaken because of heavy indebtedness.

Casino Industry Ends Its Losing Streak

The U.S. casino gaming market is finally improving, according to a recently released report from Moody's Investor Services. After more than two years of negative outlooks, Moody's has changed its view to neutral and recognizes "signs [that the] industry has bottomed out."

Moody's Downgrades BP, Following S&P

BP's debt was downgraded three notches by Moody's Investors Service Friday, citing the "worsening impact expected from the oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's subsea Macondo well."

Greek Debt Cut to Junk Status

Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded Greece's government bond ratings into "junk" territory, citing the risks in the rescue package for the debt-ridden country from the Eurozone and International Monetary Fund.

Rising Stress Over European Bank Stress Tests

Ever since the Greek debt crisis began worrying investors last month, there have been increasing concerns that European banks could be facing huge losses. Many large banks are being stress tested, and investors are hoping that the results will be made public.

Moody's CEO: Subprime Ratings 'Disappointing'

The CEO of Moody's Corp. says his company's inaccurate ratings of mortgage-related investments were "deeply disappointing" but investors shouldn't rely on ratings to buy or sell securities.

Banks Face Financial Doomsday

The price the largest U.S. banks pay to borrow money is going to skyrocket in the coming years, and new regulations will put a big crimp in their profits. Add in the fact that the government won't bail them out again, and you have a bleak scenario for financial firms.

Ratings Agencies Brace for Financial Reform

The details may yet change, but the massive financial reform legislation now winding around Capitol Hill promises to seriously rearrange the rating agencies' formerly cozy and profitable business. Here's a look at what's coming.

Big Banks Could Be Heroes in the Greek Debt Crisis

Amid the turmoil of Europe's Greek debt crisis, investors may find an unlikely source of relief. Big private banks are playing a more supportive and decisive role, providing solutions that sidestep the political gridlock.

Moody's Sends a Ratings Warning to Triple-A Governments

Moody's has sounded the alarm on triple A-rated sovereign debt from the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany due to strains on those governments' finances. It says the ratings are fine for now, but they could be downgraded if debt and deficits aren't brought under control.

Just How Risky Is MetLife's Bid for AIG's ALICO Unit?

An S&P credit warning and two stock upgrades of MetLife this week highlight a difference of opinion in the investment community about the acceptable level of risk involved in a merger that could make the insurance giant a lot bigger.

Lenders Write Off More Credit Card Debt

The percentage of credit card balances that lenders have written off as uncollectable rose in November, said Moody's, which predicts even higher levels of delinquency and charge-offs ahead in 2010.