Boy, those agencies can move fast sometimes. Fitch downgraded bond insurer Ambac today from AAA to AA, which in turn meant any bonds who rating depended on an Ambac guarantee in turn needed to be downgraded. Fitch was ready and promptly announced a downgrade of 420 securities. One would assume that this comprises the sum total, but the press release (which contains the full list) is silent on that point:
Fitch Ratings downgrades 420 classes of asset-backed securities (ABS) Additionally, the ratings remain on Rating Watch Negative by Fitch. This action follows Fitch’s downgrade of the ratings on Ambac Financial Group, Inc. and its affiliated entities (Ambac).
For more information, please refer to the press release ‘Fitch Downgrades Ambac; Ratings Remain on Watch Negative’, dated Jan. 18, 2008, available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com.
The ratings of the following ABS transactions are supported by a financial guaranty policy provided by Ambac Assurance Corp., a subsidiary of Ambac Financial Group, Inc., and therefore are downgraded and remain on Rating Watch Negative.