Inside these posts: Credit rating

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Fitch downgrades O’Hare bonds

By Jon Hilkevitch and Julie Johnsson | The Daley administration is flying into dangerous financial territory by increasing borrowings for the expansion of O’Hare International Airport to unprecedented levels in order to keep the runway construction project going, a top bond credit rating agency cautioned Wednesday.

Fitch Ratings downgraded O’Hare revenue bonds as well as bonds backed by passenger ticket taxes to “A-” status, while assigning a “stable” rating outlook.

The action came two days after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded to a “negative” outlook from “stable” some of the revenue bonds that Chicago has issued to help pay for the $15 billion O’Hare Modernization Program and related capital improvements deemed necessary for the success of the massive airfield project. Get the full story »

Cartoon characters promote prepaid cards

It was the Kardashian sisters a few days ago. Now it’s cartoon characters who are promoting prepaid cards. has begun selling Teen Prepaid MasterCards with images that include So So Happy, Skelanimals, Paul Frank, and Emily the Strange, according to a report issued Wednesday by Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of, a credit-card comparison Web site.

On Nov. 17, Hardekopf wrote about how the Kardashian Kard was a bad deal because of the high fees that came with the card. Get the full story »

Discover reports more on-time card payments

Credit card default rates mostly fell in September, but improvements in late payments slowed for most of the major card issuers. American Express, Discover, Chase, Bank of America and Citibank all submitted regulatory filings Friday that said September charge-offs fell to the lowest level this year.

Card delinquencies fall, but recovery elusive

Fewer Americans fell behind on their credit card payments in September, but the pace of improvement slowed again, accelerating fears that banks will not recover from their consumer loan losses for years.

Shares of several major U.S. credit card lenders, including Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase and Co, and Capital One Financial Corp, fell in morning trading on Friday. Get the full story »

Moody’s may raise McDonald’s ratings

(Reuters/Molly Riley/Files)

Moody’s Investors Service said on Friday it may raise its ratings on McDonald’s Corp. due to solid operating performance and growth prospects.

Moody’s placed McDonald’s A3 senior unsecured rating, the seventh-highest rating, and Prime-2 short-term commercial paper rating on review for possible upgrade.

“The review for possible upgrade reflects McDonald’s solid operating performance achieved through various strategic initiatives such as new product innovation, cost savings, re-imaging and new restaurant growth,” Moody’s analyst Bill Fahy said in a statement. Get the full story »

State’s bad bond rating costs taxpayers $551M

Illinois residents will pay as much as $551.3 million extra for the state’s borrowing over the last year because of its deteriorating bond rating, according to an analysis by the Civic Federation to be released Monday.

“Due to Springfield’s failure to stabilize Illinois’ finances, Illinois residents will pay nearly 21 percent more for one year of borrowing than they would have if the state had maintained its credit ratings,” said Laurence Msall, president of the nonpartisan research organization.
Get the full story>>

Moody’s downgrades USG ratings

Moody’s Investors Services lowered two credit ratings for building materials company USG Corp. Thursday, citing a dim outlook for the building sector.

Moody’s lowered its corporate family and probability of default ratings for USG to “Caa1″ from “B3.” It also downgraded guaranteed senior unsecured notes due 2014 to “B2″ from “B1″ and other senior unsecured debt to “Caa2″ from “Caa1.” Get the full story »

Quinn signs law limiting payday loan interest rates

Payday loan companies will face limits on how much interest they can charge under legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law this afternoon.

Under the new rules, interest rates would be capped at 99 percent for consumer installment loans of $4,000 and less and at 36 percent for loans that are $4,000 or more. Previously, there were no limits on how much loan companies could charge in interest, and some borrowers were smacked with rates as high as 700 to 1,000 percent, according to Quinn’s office.

“Access to credit is the key to economic life not only for business, but for every single person,” Quinn said. “The word ‘credit’ in Latin means ‘to believe,’ it doesn’t mean ‘to gouge.’ So it’s important to those who offer credit to follow some basic rules in the market place that protect consumers from being gouged.”

Moody’s cuts BP rating for 2nd time in a month

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the senior unsecured ratings of BP PLC on Friday, the latest in a string of hits to the beleaguered oil company.