Bank of America Shares Sink Further After Downgrade

Moody's lowered its rating after concluding the government is unlikely to bail it out

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The credit rating service Moody's has been hinting for a while that it would downgrade Bank of America, and on Wednesday it announced that it finally had, by two whole points. The downgrade, which signifies the bank is a bigger credit risk and, in theory, makes it more expensive to lend to, sent B of A's stock into a dive, with 5.3 percent of its value lost and counting since the opening on Wednesday. Moody's busted the bank's credit rating "to Baa1 from A2 for long-term senior debt and to Prime-2 from Prime-1 for short-term debt," the agency wrote in its announcement. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that "Baa1 is equivalent to BBB in other rating scales, which is just about the average credit rating for corporate bonds.' The ratings agency said it had lowered the bank's rating because of "a decrease in the probability that the US government would support the bank, if needed."

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