Assessing Default Risk on Bonds

What are some of the top bond ratings organizations?

To a large degree, the bond market relies on the analytical work of several important ratings organizations, including Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. Each ratings organization may report on such important details as the financial health of the bond issuer, the management team of the issuer, economic conditions that may affect the issuer, the various characteristics of the debt, and sources of revenue that may secure the bond over time. Typically the best bonds are given ratings of AAA (by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch), or Aaa (by Moody’s). Many consider bonds rated below BBB/Baa quite speculative and highly risky.


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