AAA-Rated Companies: Where’d They Go?

In the early 1990s, American investors could choose from over sixty publicly available investments in companies whose debt issuances were rated as AAA, the highest possible credit rating which denotes the lowest rate of foreseeable default that exists in the world of debt instruments.

3M, Amoco (now BP), ADP, Campbell Soup, Chevron, DuPont, Exxon, General Electric, Getty Oil, IBM, Kellogg, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Merck, and Ford all had AAA-rated debt. In 2019, the only companies left in the United States with AAA-rated debt were Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft (Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft sit on $19 billion and $127 billion in cash, respectively).

When Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s rate the debt of a company, they look at the following factors:

  1. Earnings growth;
  2. Profit margins;
  3. Revenue growth;
  4. Future industry outlook;
  5. Tax burden;
  6. Pension obligations;
  7. Regulatory climate;
  8. Intellectual property, including trademarks and copyrights;
  9. Distribution channels;
  10. Economies of
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Livefyre, Website Speed, Old Comments, And Other Website Updates

A couple weeks ago, I improved the layout of the site from something horrible to something that could now charitably be described as “passable.” I’ve performed some other routine maintenance work as well, such as improving speed times and other stuff on the back end like that. I really wish I would have paid attention a little bit more during my sophomore year Computer Science class, and then maybe the learning curve wouldn’t be so steep.

The other update worth mentioning is the change to the comment stream. When I shifted to the most recent layout, I intended to keep the comments with WordPress because I finally had gotten the SPAM filter down and it seemed to be serving its purpose quite well. Unfortunately, with the recent site update, it was not allowing users with Google Chrome to make any comments to the site, and since that is the predominant … Read the rest of this article!