Fitch Ratings published, "Fitch Ratings Global Short-Term Rating Transition and Default Study, 1990–2009," which says, "This new study offers insight into the rating migration and default experience of Fitch rated global corporate finance (CF) -- industrial and financial institution -- short-term debt issuers over the past two decades, with a special emphasis on the recent, high stress years of 2008−2009.... Fitch's short-term debt issuer ratings have historically exhibited a high level of stability and low incidence of default. Since 1990, Fitch has recorded 54 corporate short-term defaults with the bulk occurring in the recession years of 2001−2002 and 2008−2009 and few affecting the top rating categories. Despite the severity of the events of the past several years, the global corporate short-term downgrade rate peaked at 13.3% in 2009." It adds, "Confidence in the liquidity- and credit-sensitive short-term debt market crumbled following Lehman's bankruptcy and issuance came to a standstill, necessitating government support of this critical source of financing for companies worldwide. In addition to Lehman Brother's Holdings Corp.'s (Lehman) 'F1+' default (affecting two Lehman entities), Fitch recorded four 'F1' defaults in the maelstrom of 2008: Washington Mutual Inc. (Washington Mutual) and the Icelandic banks -- Glitnir Banki hf, Kaupthing Bank hf, and Landsbanki Islands -- all rated 'F1' one year prior to default. Prior to 2008, the last corporate entity to default within one year of holding an 'F1+' or 'F1' issuer rating from Fitch was Edison International and its subsidiary Southern California Edison in 2001."

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