Moody's Investors Service Wednesday night downgraded Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s insurance subsidiaries, including bond insurer Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp., to Aa1 from Aaa. The outlook is stable.
Moody's downgraded the long-term insurer rating of parent Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to Aa2 from Aaa.
"Today's rating actions reflect the impact on Berkshire's key business of the severe decline in equity markets over the past year as well as the protracted economic recession," Moody's analyst Bruce Ballentine said in a statement.
The downgrade to BHAC means that Moody's no longer rates any bond insurer Aaa. The rating agency had cast doubt that any stand-alone bond insurer could earn that top rating and noted BHAC only had it because of a guarantee from affiliate Columbia Insurance Co.
Although it entered the municipal market amid much fanfare, BHAC has maintained a limited role in primary market. It insured just 22 issues with a par value of $3.3 billion last year.