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Feature Article

Utility Investors: Look Beyond Moody’s Move

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 3, 2013

Part of me wants to say, “It’s about time.”

But Moody’s decision last month to put $400 billion-plus of sector debt on review for upgrade is unabashedly welcome news for utilities.

The credit rater’s reasoning is irrefutable. Mainly, for more than a decade, US state and federal utility regulation has been as supportive as at any time since the 1950s and 60s.

That was before the bad old days of billion-dollar construction cost disallowances, retroactive rate making, destabilizing deregulation and finally the great collapse of 2001-02 following Enron’s sudden evaporation.

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