NU Online News Service, Jan. 10, 11:09 a.m. – Moody’s Investors Service, New York, says it has lowered the senior unsecured credit ratings of Conseco Inc., Carmel, Ind., and its affiliates to B2, from B1, because of continuing concerns about financial flexibility.

The insurance financial strength ratings of the insurance units were lowered to Ba2, from Ba1 and Baa3.

The outlook on the ratings of the company remains negative, Moody’s says.

Conseco appears to have enough cash for the first half of 2002, because fewer than 17% of the cash outlays required for the year are due before June 30, Moody’s analysts write in a commentary discussing the ratings changes.

Conseco has “sound plans” to raise more cash by March 31, but completing the proposed transactions will depend on swift execution and the stability of the financial markets, the analysts write.