from MuniLand:

The false equivalence of credit ratings

By Cate Long
July 15, 2014

In a new report, Janney Capital Markets analyst Tom Kozlik calls out Standard & Poor’s for credit ratings on local governments that he says are too liberal. Kozlik claims that S&P is inflating ratings. I think his analysis is solid, but inconclusive given the size of his claim. Kozlik opens the door to more critical analysis of the comparability of ratings.

from Global Investing:

Anticipating the fallout from South Africa’s ratings reviews

June 10, 2014

South Africa is due ratings reviews this Friday. Chances are that the Standard & Poor's agency will cut its BBB rating by one, or possibly even two notches.  Another agency Fitch has a stable outlook on the rating but could still choose to downgrade the rating rather than the outlook. What will be the damage?

from MacroScope:

Good news for Greece?

By Mike Peacock
April 4, 2014

Unemployment is sky high, national debt is not far short of double the size of an economy which is still shrinking and its ruling coalition has a wafer-thin majority, yet there are glimmers of hope in Greece.

from MacroScope:

EU ratings day: Portugal modest thumbs up, Dutch unscathed, Ireland awaited

By Mike Peacock
January 17, 2014

Friday is European ratings day since EU rules took force requiring ratings agencies to say precisely when they will make sovereign pronouncements and to do so outside market hours.

from MacroScope:

New face at the ECB

By Mike Peacock
January 13, 2014

The European Central Bank held a steady course at its first policy meeting of the year but flagged up the twin threats of rising short-term money market rates and the possibility of a “worsening” outlook for inflation – i.e. deflation.

from MuniLand:

The ‘new stable’ for local governments

By Cate Long
December 12, 2013

Moody’s Ratings made a big sector call last week in its U.S. Public Finance outlook:

from MuniLand:

Moody’s flawed estimate on public pension liabilities

By Cate Long
June 28, 2013

As the debate continues over public pension funding levels, we have this headline from the Financial Times this week: “US States need $980 billion to fill pension gap, says Moody’s.” This is not exactly news. A number of studies, including ones from the Pew Trust and the Public Fund Survey, have identified a massive shortfall for public pension funds. In fact, the Pew Trust said that the shortfall in 2010 was $1.38 trillion, so perhaps we should be applauding state legislatures for improving the gap since then.

from India Insight:

Fitch revises India outlook; recent views of other rating agencies

June 12, 2013

Fitch Ratings revised India's sovereign rating outlook to "stable" from "negative" on the back of measures taken by the government to contain the budget deficit, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The rating agency had cut India’s outlook to negative in June 2012 and currently has a 'BBB-' rating for the country.

from Global Investing:

Turkey’s (investment grade)bond market

May 23, 2013

We wrote here yesterday on how Turkish hard currency bonds have been given the nod to join some Barclays global indices as a result of the country's elevation to investment grade. Turkish dollar bonds will also move to the Investment grade sub-index of JPMorgan's flagship EMBI Global on June 28.

from MacroScope:

Possibility of Spanish downgrade looms over euro zone

May 17, 2013

Spanish government bonds have had a good run since the European Central Bank said it would protect the euro last year. But some analysts say the threat of a rating downgrade to junk remains an important risk.