Moody’s Ready To Downgrade You Faster Than You Can Say ‘Increased Share Buyback Program’

Dividends = bad, according to the rating business.
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Freshly installed on every Moody's analyst's desk. Don't tempt them to use it.

Having already joined the chorus of thosewarning that activist hedge funds are ruining everything by insisting that all of that money belongs to shareholders, the ratings agency has got its eye out for anyone even thinking about boosting a dividend or buying back a few extra shares in hopes of keeping the activists at bay.

“Investment-grade U.S. companies are increasingly returning cash to shareholders, and have less free cash flow to repay debt today than they did before the recession,” said the report….

That lack of investment in future growth could slow the broader economy, which could create a cycle where companies’ earnings weaken and credit-quality measures, such as debt-to-Ebitda worsen, said Moody’s.

Moody’s: Shareholder Dividend Payments Hurting Bond Market [WSJ CFO Journal blog]

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Moody's Attempts To Ruin Dick Handler's Good Time

Until recently, being chief executive officer of Jefferies was an exercise in getting shit on. As the man in charge for the last 13 years, Richard Handler has had to put up with a lot of hurtful remarks that, while nothing to the person tossing them off, undoubtedly stung quite badly. "Third-tier bank." Place "I wouldn't let my maid's kid work." "Poor man's Morgan Keegan." So you can imagine that after a string of victories over the last several months that included getting involved in the slaughterhouse business and paying all-cash bonuses unlike some people, Handler and Co. would be feeling pretty good about themselves and that after announcing to the world they were getting paid more this year than their counterparts at big kid banks, they'd be feeling REALLY good about themselves. That payday, however, did not go over well when input into Moody's proprietary just-make-it-up credit-rating model, and now Handler's plan to gather everyone up to watch as the board shoots his compensation out of a tee-shirt gun in hundred dollar bills is completely ruined.