New York City’s $38.7 billion debt gets a downgrade by Moody’s as it faces ‘lasting economic economic consequences’ from pandemic

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Credit-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday downgraded New York City’s debt one notch, citing “substantial financial challenges,” faced by the metropolis amid the worst pandemic in more than a century. COVID-19 has delivered a socially distant gut punch to the city teeming with some 19 million people. Moody’s downgraded the Big Apple’s $38.7 billion in general obligation bonds to Aa2 from Aa1, the equivalent of a move in competitor ratings firm Standard & Poor’s of a fall to AA from AA+, or two notches below the pristine triple-A rating. Moody’s said that it believes that the city is on a “longer recovery path than most other major cities.” The agency also said that the city may face “lasting economic consequences” and require “significant fiscal adjustments.” The Moody’s report comes after an article from the New York Times earlier this week said that the coming crisis from the coronavirus pandemic may rival a fiscal calamity that the city faced in the 1970s.”We’re on the verge of a tragedy,” Richard Ravitch, a former state official who helped engineer the rescue of New York City’s finances in the 1970s was quoted as saying to the paper.
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