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April 27, 2010

Markets Lose 2% As Greece Debt Downgraded to Junk Status

Can't happen here, of course. Greece was plagued by irresponsible spending and politicians who lied about the country's massive liabilities and a high tax rate that discouraged growth.

So, like I said, Greece is nothing at all like Obama's America.

Greece’s credit rating was cut three steps to junk by Standard and Poor’s, the first time a euro member has lost its investment grade since the currency’s 1999 debut. The euro weakened and stock markets throughout the region plunged.

Greece was lowered to BB+ from BBB+ by S&P, which also warned that bondholders could recover as little as 30 percent of their initial investment if the country restructures its debt. The move, which puts Greek debt on a par with bonds issued by Azerbaijan and Egypt, came minutes after the rating company reduced Portugal by two steps to A- from A+.

And fear is spreading:

"The latest developments mean that the chances of Greece solving this situation without restructuring its debts are now dim," said Diego Iscaro, senior economist at IHS Global Insight.

As in the financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, investors around the world are fearful about who holds what debt and how much.

Unsurprisingly, stocks tanked.

"We have the makings of a market crisis here," said Neil Mackinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed down 2.6 percent, Germany's DAX slid 2.7 percent and the French CAC-40 in France ended 3.8 percent lower. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down over 100 points in mid-afternoon trading, while the broader Standard & Poors' 500 index fell back below 1,200.


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posted by Ace at 05:03 PM

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