The ailing national economy led Moody's Investors Service to downgrade 12 of the colleges and nonprofit groups whose debt it rated in the first quarter of 2009, and upgrade none, the ratings agency said in a report Monday. The report, which looked broadly at what Moody's calls "public finance," which includes municipalities and states as well as hospitals and other non-corporate entities, said that the general downward trend of its revisions of credit ratings "were attributable to the broad economic, rather than issuer-specific, conditions." In other words, the colleges and universities whose credit ratings Moody's downgraded suffered that fate more because of the larger financial picture than because their specific situations were so terrible.
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