Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service are cutting corporate debt ratings at the fastest pace since 2009 as a global economic slowdown and record borrowing erode credit quality.
The ratio of ratings downgrades to upgrades worldwide climbed to 1.85 this year from 1.23 in 2011, according to S&P data. PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, was cut three times by Moody’s since March to speculative grade. Fort Worth, Texas-based RadioShack Corp. was lowered four steps this year by S&P to seven levels below investment grade. Defaults rose to 80 issuers from 52 in 2011, according to S&P.