The rating agency reported that 211 companies worldwide defaulted on $115.4 billion of debt – both numbers breaking records that were set the previous year, when 132 issuers defaulted on $42.3 billion of debt.
Of those, 132 came from the US, including:
- troubled energy trader Enron Corp.
- California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
- Southern California Edison.
The default rate for speculative-grade, or junk-rated, issuers rose to 8.57% in 2001, from 5.68% the previous year, the highest since the 10.87% record set in 1991, according to S&P
About 4% of all issuers defaulted in 2001, matching the record set in 1991.