The Roaring Revenge of 'Investment Grade'

The McDonald's restaurant in Times Square, New York. Highly rated corporate bonds are enjoying their best stretch in years. Photograph by Ben Hider/Getty Images

Never again, swore investors, academics, and politicians. Never again would we be so in thrall to an “investment-grade” seal of approval. In the run-up to the economic meltdown, credit-rating companies such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s minted it by slapping that designation on all sorts of companies and securities whose creditworthiness turned out not to be technically kosher.

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