Triple-A Ratings are so Yesterday   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/02/05/803201941/triple-a-ratings-are-so-yesterday

In the United States bond market, only two companies currently hold a triple-A rating: Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. Most companies are falling into triple-B and double-B bond ratings. Once companies fall below a triple-B rating, their bonds are considered to be “junk bonds”. Due to the current low interest rates, even if a company has a low rating, they still can receive a loan at a low price which means there is little incentive to achieve a high bond rating. With the record high level of corporate debt in the U.S., there will be little financial flexibility for these companies if a recession hits.

Original Air Date: February 5, 2020

Length: 9 minutes

Discussion prompt 1: Should the government incentivize companies to cut back on their debt and improve their bond ratings? If so, how should the government do this?

Discussion prompt 2: What are the long term economic implications of the extensive amount of corporate debt in the United States?

 

Posted March 24, 2020 by meaghanprice3 in Finance, Planet Money

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