Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service are cutting corporate debt ratings at the fastest pace since 2009 as a global economic slowdown and record borrowing erode credit quality.


Even as credit quality deteriorated, Federal Reserve efforts to push investors into riskier assets drove unprecedented amounts of cash into the corporate debt market, fueling the biggest gains since 2009.

The securities returned 11.8 percent this year through Dec. 21, the most since the 20.5 percent return in 2009, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) index data show.