These drastic actions provide reassurance to creditors that big companies will do just about anything to keep their investment grade ratings.
FT Lex, US credit ratings: attack of the killer Bs
As a company grows, and the rate of its growth slows, it changes its capital structure. Early-stage capital is speculating on future cash flows, while later-stage capital has expectations of future cash flows. Growth is risk, so early stage capital is equity. Reliable cash flows stem from operational consistency, so later-stage capital tends to be debt.
Equity capital absorbs losses. Equity tolerates downturns, disappointments, failures, we-thought-it-would-work-but-it-didn't-quite-turn-out-that-way by losing value…