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4. Re: Thanksgiving Consolidation Nov 23, 2012, 01:39 killer_roach
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Nov 22, 2012, 13:50:
Not that Sony isn't hurting right now but Fitch was also one of the credit agencies that rated a whole ton of sub prime mortgages as AAA, as well as many of the investment banks peddling in them, practically up until the day they collapsed.

In all fairness, all three major ratings firms - Fitch, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's - did that. Somebody I know in finance said that if you put the drop of housing prices into the risk models they had for mortgage-backed securities, the situation would have looked as dire as it was. The problem was that nobody thought that a prolonged, nationwide drop in housing prices was possible. Surprise...!

BB- is a pretty rough credit rating, but not unusual anymore. That being said, most companies I can think of that have similar credit ratings are smaller firms than that (although not necessarily tiny, either). In comparison, the government of Spain is rated BBB-, and Italy is BBB, both slightly better, and they're the laughingstocks of the EU at present (granted, there's always a bit of a bias toward sovereign debt - look at the credit ratings of the US and Japan if you don't believe me).

The big issue for Sony is the fact that they are so highly leveraged as a result of their ownership of manufacturing facilities for their flagging television business. It's understandable that a ratings firm would be skittish about that, and they have good reason to be (short of, of course, Sony selling those divisions, but I doubt there'd be many, if any, takers for them due to the liabilities involved).
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