85 Companies Default on Debt in 2008: S&P

Eighty-five companies worldwide defaulted on their debt in the year through November 11, impacting a total of $284 billion, up sharply from the two previous years, Standard & Poor's said Monday. By comparison, there were only 22 defaults for all of 2007 and 30 in 2006, Reuters reported. Seventy of the 85 companies are based in the United States, five in Europe, four in Asia, three in Canada, two in Mexico and one in Russia, according to Diane Vazza, head of S&P's fixed income group. "The number of global weakest links continues to increase sharply as eroding credit quality leads to lower ratings and more entities with negative outlooks or ratings on CreditWatch negative," said Vazza. The default rate in Europe rose to 1.01 percent from 1.00 percent, while the emerging markets default rate rose to 0.82 percent in October from 0.17 percent in September. Read more.