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back to article Don't touch Sony, Panasonic's junk, says credit agency

Panasonic has a better chance than Sony of surviving the global disinterest in new consumer electronics, credit rating agency Fitch said today. Fitch downgraded the two debt-saddled firms to junk status: Panasonic's credit rating was pushed down two ranks to double-B, and Sony was nudged down three to double-B-minus. Panasonic …

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Anonymous Coward

and we still have not hit the bottom of the financial meltdown.

This will get much worse before it gets better.

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Unhappy

"When a company reaches junk level, it will find it almost impossible to raise money for its business, which can push it over the edge"

So Finch is basically giving them the Kiss of Death. If true, t hat's a lot of power. Who controls it? is there any way to ensure it's objective?

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Unhappy

" is there any way to ensure it's objective?"

No, which is why junk-level mortgages re-packaged by banks were rated as AAA by ratings agencies... one of the big factors leading to the original meltdown. Of course the ratings agencies do not take responsability for this

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Devil

I'm glad someone else remembers that these arseholes said that it was OK to bundle and salami slice oversold morgages from the US market that destroyed alot of companys and also many Billions of £/$ of savings.

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Thumb Down

All the bank's fault

Yeah - I save all my sympathy for the muppets who thought taking out 125% mortages of 7 times their income on properties worth 50% of what they paid on the expectation their property's price would treble per annum in perpetuity.

I also deeply respect the politicians who decided to exclude property prices from realistic contribution to inflation indices, ignored the unsustainable boom because it was a vote winner and ran with the absurdly low interest rates fuelling it.

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Anonymous Coward

It's a shame to see Panasonic struggling, as I've always had good experiences with their products. One of those under-rated companies that no-one ever seems to talk about.

As for Sony though, about 10 years ago I vowed never to willingly buy anything from them ever again after a couple of bad experiences, so it's about time karma came round and bit them on the arse.

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Agree about Panasonic. I've stuff of theirs thats 25 years old and still working perfectly and in daily use.

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too right

A couple of TV's, both still excellent and going strong, a microwave that just won't die, cordless phones and a pretty decent Lumax camera. All in all I have to say that Panasonic has been the most reliable stuff I have ever bought. Solid stuff and it would be a shame to see them go.

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RE: so it's about time karma came round

I sincerely hope that "karma" continues to give that arrogant company (Sony) all of the grief they most certainly deserve.

Ditto about Panasonic, I have always held them in much better regard than Sony; at least they didn't try to fuck up my PC with a rootkit!!!!

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Won't miss either

Already avoiding Sony because of the rootkits, and Panasonic for trying to lock you into buying their camera batteries! When I replace my current camera (which is Panasonic) I'll specifically look around for a manufacturer that doesn't try that one.

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Anonymous Coward

Your loss then,

As they have superb products.

You won't have played the best games this gen, nor watched SkyFall either I assume, or listened to some of the best music on their record labels. Their Xperia phones are damn fine, with great cameras.

Enjoy your inferior shit... All because someone told you on the internet that Sony were bad because someone got a rootkit, or someone had their OtherOS taken away because they were being naughty with it.

Rather pathetic...

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FAIL

Re: Your loss then,

Rather pathetic.

You are entitled to your opinion, regardless of what I think of it.

If you can not understand that any one's personal decision not to enrich a company for its transgressions in the consumer space as punishment for those transgressions; then I think you are

Rather pathetic...

Now, how does that shoe fit???

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FAIL

Re: Your loss then,

>You won't have played the best games this gen

Lets see 100 million less PS3 sold than prior generation, FAIL.

>nor watched SkyFall

Sony is hardly responsible for the genre that is Bond. It would be hard for any studio to screw up that franchise.

>Their Xperia phones are damn fine

Perhaps but Sony is not even in the top five of smartphone vendors. Bit player.

>All because someone told you on the internet that Sony were bad because someone got a rootkit

You mean like the Associated Press or the judge who oversaw Sony admit guilt in the class action settlement?

>had their OtherOS taken away

You mean the one Sony only put into to try and claim the PS3 was a computer and get lower tariffs (which like many other things Sony failed).

As this article shows over five years of being constantly in the deep red now has Sony at 1/5 the size of its heyday. At this point its only the trolls, fanbois (are there any left?), and junk bond funds that have much interest in talking up Sony.

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Anonymous Coward

'Panasonic has been the most reliable stuff...'

Sadly this reliability and soundness might be their downfall. Panasonic kit doesn't have the shiny-shiny reputation of some companies, it doesn't have particularly good cutting-edge aesthetics and therefore doesn't tend to look dated or modern either. As a result Panasonic doesn't attract the rampant fanboism necessary for repeated purchases of the same products.

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Re: Your loss then,

@asdf:

I mostly agree with you.

The only point I'd actually defend Sony on at all relates to their phones, but then I've only ever used the ones they produced in partnership with Ericsson and I reckon it's primarily Ericsson's work that led to them being so good. I also grudgingly respect the fact that Sony will provide bootloader unlock codes (rather than forcing you to find an exploit allowing you to unlock it with some other method) at http://unlockbootloader.sonymobile.com/instructions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Your loss then, @Fatman 19:16

Voted down for your tendency to use bold all the time (why not just use all caps, for tradition's sake?) and parroting someone else's words back at them. Only 8-year olds see that as an effective response, son.

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Windows

I vowed never to buy SONY again due to poor lifespan, arrogance and uneconmical repair of expensive products.

I now buy cheaper LG or SAMSUNG fayre which is just as good and looking, better warranty, support and almost disposable prices.

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Anonymous Coward

@Richard Cartledge

As long as you refer to consumer electronics, not computing... Horrific laptop warranty service for Samsung in this country! For Windows laptops, I'd rather go for Toshiba.

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Re: @Richard Cartledge

I miss my samsung laptop thing worked around 4 years or so, it was HEAVILY used by me too.

Ordered a samsung tablet after I confused it with an iPad.

J/K about the ipad confusion I'd never buy an apple product ;)

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Anonymous Coward

poor lifespan?

I've never had to junk anything from Sony because it broke or wore out, just because I didn't need it anymore.

Only just replaced a double hand-me-down Sony TV because I got a (nother handme down) bigger flatter one.

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oposite

Funny I have the complete opposite experience with Samsung. Crappy fragile products, bad warranty, incompetent repair service (just like Nokia's) and a support department with absolutely no idea about the concept called 'customer satisfaction'.

I totally boycott them. The more they flood the market, the more persistent my aversion becomes. I'd rather go for a Sony product then a Samsung ever again.

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MJI
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Re: Sony & Panasonic

Well I have worn out 2 Sony TVs with heavy and long term use. Had a Panasonic VCR die (my only Vhs deck so no loss - yet the similar age and used more Sanyo still works today., as does my 30 year old Sony portable - was 3 when purchased). But both are generally well engineered brands which are in a similar market place.

I prefered Sony stuff years ago due to the Trinitron tube and better quality VCRs.

Panasonics Guideplus EPG scared me off their flat panel TVs.

Both brands of Panasonic (them and JVC) made good video carmeras but the portable VCRs were not so hot. I would have loved one of those cameras. The most popular accessory was the 14 pin K lead, the JVC GXN70 (I think) camera was much nicer than the Sony HVC4000P, but the Sony portable SLF1UB wiped the floor with anything from Panasonic (NV180) or JVC (a little VHS-C thing). I have done the head to head BTW and my old SL-F1 was better.

Later on the best all in one from Panasonic was a video 8 they OEMed for another company.

However the Sony camera was not bad in low light and had good colours. Managed better than an early 1st gen CCD all in one jobbie I saw in action a long time ago, the owner went on about his LUX and was shocked mine kept colour a lot longer (as was I)

As to products Sony were in a lot more markets then, they were one of the few companies to do mid and top range stuff, their ES kit was nice.

If either goes under it will be a sadder place as both companies still make good products worth buying.

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Coat

"No, which is why junk-level mortgages re-packaged by banks were rated as AAA by ratings agencies... one of the big factors leading to the original meltdown. Of course the ratings agencies do not take responsability for this"

The Banks themselves & the Government Oversight Agencies didnt take any either, so why would you expect the Credit Agencies to be different swimming in this sea of corruption?

And as bad as some of these multi-nationals maybe, just about every country in the world is in a much much worse place, these companies are just a symptom of a major issue that no one is addressing (say they are, but in reality arent)

as AC points out this aint over yet!

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Unhappy

... and still not a single W^hBanker, Financial Adviser or Lawyer on the dole.

Really winds me up to see good people around me forced to take 'early retirement', sink what savings they've got into paying off their mortgage, then try to live off the state pension, and peanut husks that are the remains of the scheme they paid into all their working lives.

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Anonymous Coward

",.. and still not a single W^hBanker, Financial Adviser or Lawyer on the dole."

Right-o. That'll be apart from the Reuters estimate of 160,000 bankers who've lost their jobs this year which the Guardian said earlier this week is likely to be lower than the actual figure. And apart from the 13,000 more job losses the Daily Mail says will bring London financial sector employment to its lowest level in 20 years next year. And apart from the financial adviser job cuts announced this year at RBS, Legal & General, HSBC, Lloyds, Standard Life, ...

It's possible you're right about lawyers. It's a little bit harder to search for that in 20 seconds on Google.

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Legal services is one of the sectors that growing pretty rapidly in the UK, the BBC did a report on it a few weeks ago, it has something like 7% growth per year, with a lot of foreign individuals and companies choosing the UK as a place to fight their legal cases,, Russians particularly, but Thai, Indians and South Africans,. our judiciary is consider less corrupt than many others around the world an our laws fair and a lot of other legal systems and commercial laws have been base on UK law, so the court decisions are compatible with a lot of other courts around the world.

I think Russians also find the UK a generally safe place to live, where security services can generally be relied on to warn you if they detect any threats against your life, in Russian they probably the ones that arrange any assignation plots against you in the first place.

Bankers and other financial services have suffered substantial losses in jobs over the last couple of years, it a rather nasty myth that they haven't and will only increase as many institutions are currently over staff.

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RE: Reuters estimate of 160,000 bankers who've lost their jobs

And, most of them are at the bottom of the food chain.

The ones that should lose their jobs get bonuses, or golden parachutes.

They ought to get jail time, instead.

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Anonymous Coward

more likely lower banking staff more than the top level incomptents

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Meh

Don't forget

all that lovely libel tourism. Our libel laws are a huge embarrassment, & perhaps a bigger reason why so many wealthy foreigners, often with plenty of blood on their hands, flock to our courts to silence the truth. Rather than UK judges being so incorruptible and so on, although we do have some of the world's best liars, sorry, lawyers.

On the subject of bankers, are you sure that the ones who lost their jobs are the same ones who caused the credit crunch? I would think the ones who lied their heads off until the last moment will be seen as loyal employees - just like any large organisation, your first loyalty is to the business, anyone else can get fucked. No doubt all the real sociopaths have been promoted. Liar-in-chief Bob "Fake" Diamond for example - he'd still be there if no-one outside Barclays had rumbled him.

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Panasonic stuff bullet proof

Just talking to my local TV repair shop that has been in business over 30 years. He also repairs TV's and he swears by Panasonic, in all his time in business he has only one Panasonic TV that failed when in warranty and most are going 20-25 years after manufacture. They are one of the last manufacturers that actually makes all the components in their TV right down to the screws. Their R&D plant is also right beside their component manufacturing plant in Japan. No cheap Chinese lowest cost transistors allowed. A real shame their in trouble.

As for Sony they went the lost cost, buy cheap Chinese from the lowest price parts bin years ago so no surprise their....

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Re: Panasonic stuff bullet proof

The trouble is that most of Panasonics stuff is nowhere to be found outside japan. For instance the only panasonic smartphone that i saw was an old uninspiring Eluga model (while better models had been introduced in japan).

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Re: Panasonic stuff bullet proof

Panasonic projectors were unrivaled when I bought mine a few years ago which absolutely rocks. I am guessing this is still probably the case.

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WTF?

Double B, triple B minus...

WTF? Can't it just start at "A" (for Awesome, if you must) and work through the alphabet from there? What's with AAA, AA, BB, ABBA, --A, C++, and all that cack?

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Unhappy

Re: Double B, triple B minus...

It gives you a clue as to the intelligence of the people running the show.

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Re: Double B, triple B minus...

I guess that's where the whole nobody fails crap started. Coming soon to a schoolhouse near you. This way nobody needs to ever get an "F" again. Just imagine how proud little Jonny will be when he goes up to his parents and says, "My report was soo good, I got two Bs! But I don't think the teacher was fair, that girl Jessica got three whole Cs and nobody liked her report."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Double B, triple B minus...

jargon to exclude others lest they discover its all guesswork

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Headmaster

From the S&P

The general meaning of our credit rating opinions is summarized below.

‘AAA’—Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments. Highest Rating.

‘AA’—Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.

‘A’—Strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.

‘BBB’—Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.

‘BBB-‘—Considered lowest investment grade by market participants.

‘BB+’—Considered highest speculative grade by market participants.

‘BB’—Less vulnerable in the near-term but faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.

‘B’—More vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments.

‘CCC’—Currently vulnerable and dependent on favorable business, financial and economic conditions to meet financial commitments.

‘CC’—Currently highly vulnerable.

‘C’—Currently highly vulnerable obligations and other defined circumstances.

‘D’—Payment default on financial commitments.

Note: Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

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Bugger

First my favourite TV manufacturer Philips more or less vanishes into almost oblivion and the quality of their stuff takes a dive, and now what I consider to be the manufacturer of the best current crop of TV's seems to be heading the same way.

Sony on the other hand I can live without.

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Anonymous Coward

Sony's position doesn't surprise me:

- Playstation 3: Counter intuitive PoS (though I quite like the Vita, a concept rapidly being made obsolete by smart phones and tablets)

- TVs: You can get better for the money from Panasonic and Samsung (maybe Google TV will pay off?)

- Cameras: Actually pretty awesome but sheer inertia of CaNikon will see them trounced until the end of days

- Phones: Does anyone really buy Xperia instead of Samsung?

It's a vicious market and Sony's competitors are either more agile or too established. That's pretty shit; I do rate their camera, and lenses too (when they bother).

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Happy

Re: Sony's position doesn't surprise me:

Just for the record: I deliberately chose an Xperia P over a Galaxy, for the combination of size and features (esp. camera). Sony actually came good this time on their promise to provide an update (from Gingerbread to to ICS). Had the phone for over four months now. It's a good bit of kit, regardless of the brand logo.

Having said that, I broadly agree with criticism of Sony's past (present?) behaviour doing them no favours.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony's position doesn't surprise me:

" Does anyone really buy Xperia instead of Samsung?"

Yes, people that can be bothered to try them out, rather than just buying what they know...

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Devil

Strategy

I hear when they get desperate enough, Sony might start considering making stuff that works with your other stuff. I don't believe it tho.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strategy

Funny, all my Sony stuff works all my other non-Sony stuff.

Have you just timewarped from 2001?

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MJI
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Re: Strategy

My Sony games console streams happily from my Intel quad core, ASUS boarded Samsung HDDed PC with MS XP on it.

My Pioneer DVD player, Humax PVR, BT PVR work well with my Sony TV.

Actually I do know of one incompatability with Sony stuff with regards to Sanyo.

VCR tracking, if you play back in the other deck you have to adjust the tracking, Sanyo and Sony were just that little bit different.

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Panasonic R&D

More of Panasonic is the bits to make things end of the market rather than the finished product. It's the general downturn in electronics that's been the problem. Panasonic components are in many other items, however they are still developing new products and technologies - if that stops it's usually the death knell for a company.

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Holmes

Nothing to worry about really

BSA?

Norton?

Triumph?

Ariel?

Yamaha?

Honda?

Suzuki?

Kawasaki?

Some were mainstream 40 - 50 years ago, some were mainstream 10 years ago.

I bet not many will be mainstream in 10 years time.

Reasoning: financial evolution

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MJI
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Re: Nothing to worry about really

I think the big 4 Japanese bike makers will survive!

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Anonymous Coward

After half a lifetime using Sony I have to agree.

At least the walkmans used to work - and mine still do! But then they e.g. went to proprietary headphone sockets. And if the headphone broke, the walkman would appear not to work - at least that's what Sony would then offer to "repair" for big $.

Then I got a Portable DAT D-7 but it died after only 2 years. Error 11. Error 10.

The SW world radios were pretty good - apart from the lid mechanism eventually slicing the ribbon cable in 2 after some years. Design Error. Replacement parts a cool 100$.

Video Cameras were ok.

Laptops. Well I've been with them since the Z505 (erratic power switch). VGN-FS (erratic power switch) and then the VGN-Z. The VGN-Z had a great screen but ... Crunching fan noise -> repair led to blackscreens (overheating) -> repair lead to blackscreens (but only when using GPU) -> repair. Dealing with Sony "support" is not some I'd care to repeat. High end prices, low end service. Beta machines.

Type any of these problems into google and you get a lot of hits. It's not a question of bad luck. Sony has bad quality control and appalling service.

Will I be buying Sony again?

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I still use daily an old Sony Digicube radio which has an excellent FM receiver in it, seemingly better than far more expensive radios that I also have. I've also enjoyed their TVs over the years.

Now however, for the reasons you and others above give, I would hesitate to buy Sony gear.

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Anonymous Coward

savings?

"When a company reaches junk level, it will find it almost impossible to raise money for its business, which can push it over the edge."

Didn't these companies save up some profits when the times where good? I mean I'm expected to save up some bits for my old age or when the going gets tough, but they throw it all away on exorbitant bonuses and manager fees. Ludicrous!

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