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S&P Lowers or May Cut $534 Billion of Subprime Debt

Standard & Poor's said it cut or may reduce ratings on $534 billion of subprime-mortgage securities and collateralized debt obligations, the most sweeping action in response to rising home-loan defaults.

The downgrades may extend bank losses to more than $265 billion and have a ``ripple impact'' on the broader financial markets, S&P said in a statement today. The securities represent $270.1 billion, or 47 percent, of subprime mortgage bonds rated between January 2006 and June 2007. The New York-based ratings company also said it may cut 572 CDOs valued at $263.9 billion.