Feeds

Wall Street: Google, Apple good - Palm, AMD bad

The Meltdown shuffle

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Hanging onto the Bottom Rung

And then there's Moody's Bottom Rung. We were tipped off to this new service by a Bloomberg article, which pointed out that the "deepening recession raises the risk that [corporate] borrowers may miss interest payments."

And that's exactly what the Bottom Rung tracks: companies with debt that Moody's defines as "speculative grade" but which we all know by the oft-repeated ephithet of "sub-prime." The list is compiled based upon, among other things, Moody's debt ratings, which the company defines as their "opinion of the ability and willingness of an issuer to make timely payments on a debt instrument, such as a bond, over the life of that instrument."

Unfortunately for those of us who track the health of the tech sector, there are a lot of familiar names among the 283 companies hanging onto Moody's Bottom Rung. Among them are chip-designer and former chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), WiMAX champion Clearwire, betting-its-life-on-the-Pre Palm, IT-backup and archive big-boy Quantum, security and management-systems veteran Unisys, and IP-backbone providers Global Crossing and Level 3 Communications.

To be sure, Moody's is not saying that these companies will default on their corporate debt. It's just saying that their positions are shaky.

And they may be wrong even about that. Bloomberg, for example, quotes a spokesman for another company on the list, Eastman Kodak, as saying "Any speculation, however informed, suggesting that Kodak is less than financially sound is irresponsible. Kodak is financially solid, and we are taking the right actions to ensure that we remain a strong and enduring competitor."

Still, being identified by Moody's as being on the Bottom Rung can't be confidence-inspiring. After all, if you're among the bottom 283, you're sharing that rung with the aforementioned General Motors - hardly company you'd like to keep during a Meltdown.

If the Meldown continues to melt, we'll be forced to lower our culinary standards to eating at Arby's and El Pollo Loco, buying cheap wine at BevMo, and vacationing at Six Flags this summer instead of Paris.

Oops, those companies are all on the Bottom Rung too. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?