Moody's, which has long been criticized for sleeping through the credit bubble and, by many accounts, causing it in the first place, just came out with an attempt at absolution. In a quarterly publication called the "Bottom Rung", the rating agency list 283 companies which it believes are the most likely to default. Criteria for inclusion in this list include primarily liquidity and credit risk. Among the sectors most represented are media, automotive, retail, manufacturing, gaming and consumer products. Moody's dedication to its new job of a "rating" agency instead of "provide AAA rating for cash" agency manifests in the 126 new companies added to the "death list" compared to last year's 157.
Anyway, we post the full list here in all its 283 dead men walking glory and advise anyone who may have an investment in any of the listed lepers, to take their loss and run for the hills.
And Neil Hume on the FT's Alphaville:
There are 283 companies on the inaugural list, including, unsurprisingly, most of the US motor industry - Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors - and a couple of airlines - UAL Corporation and US Airways.
Casino groups also feature prominently - Golden Nugget, Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Mirage are all on the “Bottom Rung”.
But there are also some less obvious names which make it on to the ladder. These include, Arby’s, Barney’s New York, Claire’s Stores, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Palm, and Unisys.
And inevitably, companies are already starting to complain.
Here’s a spokesman from Eastman Kodak talking to the Wall Street Journal on Monday night.
“Any speculation, however informed, suggesting that Kodak is less than financially sound, is irresponsible,” wrote Eastman Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo in an email. “Kodak is financially solid, and we are taking the right actions to ensure that we remain a strong and enduring competitor.”
It would, of course, be interesting to see a European version.