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Despite $30B lifeline, AIG’s credit outlook remains bleak

March 2, 2009

Ratings agencies today painted a bleak outlook for AIG, following news of the insurer’s massive fourth-quarter loss and an additional $30 billion lifeline from the U.S. government. Standard and Poor’s in New York today removed American International...

S&P downgrades 10 insurers

February 27, 2009

Standard and Poor’s yesterday announced ratings downgrades for 10 major life insurers, including Genworth Financial Inc., Lincoln National Corp. and MetLife Inc. The ratings actions follow the New York-based agency’s Feb. 18 announcement that...

Morningstar unveils gov't-backed bond index

January 27, 2009

Morningstar Inc. of Chicago today announced the launch of a government-guaranteed corporate bond index. The genesis of the index is the Temporary Liquidity Guaranty Program created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which allows bank holding...

S&P: Corporate-junk-bond defaults will soar

January 22, 2009

The default rate for issuers of U.S. corporate junk bonds — bonds that Standard & Poor’s rates BB+ and below — is expected to “catapult” to an all-time high of 13.9% by December, S&P said in a report today. “The continued high stress level...

SIFMA and ASF create covered-bond group

December 9, 2008

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association of Washington and New York and the American Securitization Forum of New York will jointly sponsor the creation of a U.S. Covered Bonds Council. Announced today, the council aims to be...

Lack of clarity undermines TARP, firms say

November 7, 2008

Ninety-one percent of financial institutions surveyed said that a lack of clarity about the way the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program works is making them less willing to participate in it, according to a survey of 445 financial...

Bond fund costs Schwab more than $500,000

October 10, 2008

The Charles Schwab Corp. short-term-bond fund that blew up this year because of its exposure to mortgage-backed securities is now costing the firm as a result of significant legal losses. On Oct. 2, an arbitration panel of the Financial Industry...

Treasury: Firms to roll out covered bonds

September 19, 2008

Brokerage firms are likely to be issuing new covered bonds to finance mortgages within the next few months, a Treasury official said today. “This is a tough environment to launch a new financial product,” said Neel Kashkari, assistant secretary...

MBIA reinsures troubled competitor's portfolio

August 28, 2008

New York-based MBIA Insurance Corp. will reinsure a $184 billion portfolio of bonds previously backed by the troubled Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., the firm announced yesterday. The insurance subsidiary of Armonk, N.Y.-based MBIA Inc. will...

Prudential agrees to settle with SEC

August 7, 2008

Prudential Financial Inc. yesterday agreed to settle allegations from the SEC that it used reinsurance contracts to overstate its income by more than $200 million. In U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., the Securities and Exchange Commission...

Bond insurers try to erase insurance

June 23, 2008

Following a series of downgrades from ratings agencies, bond insurers are in talks with banks, looking to wipe away some $125 billion of insurance on debt securities, the Financial Times reported today. Insurers, including New York-based Financial...

MBIA and Ambac downgraded by S&P

June 5, 2008

MBIA Insurance Corp. and Ambac Assurance Corp., both of New York, had their financial strength ratings downgraded to AA by Standard and Poor's today. The bond insurers were also placed on CreditWatch with negative implications. Previously, both...

MBIA, Ambac Financial: Back to the trough?

April 24, 2008

MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc. could yet again be forced to raise additional capital, according to one analyst, as quarterly losses come in “significantly” higher than prior estimates, according to Crain's New York Business. The...

European bond insurer takes ratings hit

March 12, 2008

Bond insurers took a hit today as yet another major insurer was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. CFIG, a privately held European insurer, was downgraded today to A+ from its former AAA rating, according to published reports. It was the latest...

Stocks soar on $200M Fed infusion

March 11, 2008

In an effort to provide liquidity to cash-strapped financial institutions, the Federal Reserve will lend up to $200 billion of treasury securities to bond dealers in exchange for collateral such as mortgage-backed securities. The securities...

Regional bond dealers band together

March 7, 2008

Regional bond dealers have a new trade organization. Fourteen bond dealers announced today that they have formed The Regional Bond Dealers Association, based in Alexandria, Va. The turmoil in the bond market was a “factor in wanting to put...

MBIA breaks ties with trade association

February 22, 2008

MBIA Inc. has pulled away from the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers. The Armonk, N.Y.-based bond insurer said that it no longer shared the trade association’s view on the direction the bond insurance industry should take going forward....

MBIA blasts Ackerman's bond insurer plan

February 21, 2008

William Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management LLC, has come up with a solution for the troubled bond insurers, but the plan is meeting with stiff opposition, according to published reports. The activist investor pitched his plan...

MBIA chief mulls business split

February 20, 2008

Joseph Brown, new chief executive of MBIA Inc., is thinking of splitting the bond insurer’s guarantee business to maintain the firm’s AAA credit ratings, according to Bloomberg. Mr. Brown, who was yesterday appointed to the helm of MBIA, told...

Credit Suisse to take $1 billion beating

February 19, 2008

Credit Suisse wrote down $2.85 billion in losses from subprime-related debt today, and said its first quarter earnings, which the banking giant is scheduled to report on April 24, should be lower by about $1 billion. The Zurich-based bank said...

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