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  1. #1
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Default S&P rating cut hits Greece, Portugal

    This is very. very bad.

    Europe’s debt crisis deepened Tuesday as Greece suffered fresh blows and investors increasingly turned their guns on Portugal.

    Portuguese bonds slumped Tuesday as bond holders took the view that the country’s credit quality is deteriorating, even though its deficit and debt ratios are not as dire as Greece’s.

    Just hours later, Standard & Poor’s cut the country’s debt ratings given a weakening outlook and “the amplified fiscal risks Portugal faces.” S&P also cut Greece to junk status as European stocks plunged and the euro fell.

    “Investors are looking for the next weak link in the euro zone,” Simon Ballard, credit analyst in London with RBC Dominion Securities, said in a phone interview. “That may be Portugal, though it’s a bad day for everyone in Club Med.”

    Credit default swaps on Portuguese debt soared to as high as 380 basis points, up about 40 points from Monday, in early afternoon trading in Europe. That means it costs $380,000 (U.S.) to insure every $10-million of Portugal’s debt against default. Credit default swaps in other Mediterranean countries also rose. Italy, which has one of the world’s highest debt-to-GDP ratios, saw its credit default swaps widen by about 10 basis points, to 160 points.

    “The contagion is definitely spreading and spreading quite rapidly to Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy,” Mehernosh Engineer, a credit strategist at BNP Paribas, said in a report published Tuesday. “The market has been in a show-me-the-money mode for well over three months and the lack of guidance is slowly and steadily sowing the seeds of a double-dip.”

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    This is very. very bad.
    Sounds bad, but this is my ignorance showing - what the hell does that article really say??
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  3. #3
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buschman View Post
    Sounds bad, but this is my ignorance showing - what the hell does that article really say??
    basically S&P (one of the major bond rating agencies) has characterized Greece national bonds as junk bonds. This puts these bonds on a "do not buy" list by most corporations and makes the country unable to raise funds externally. Basically they are screwed.

    The same thing may happen to Portugal (and a few other European countries) in the not too distant future. Some other governments need to see this as their future (mine and yours for instance, more yours than mine). The hope was that the EU could save Greece from this, that's not happening. Our leaders should be very afraid.

  4. #4
    Imperial Fascist Overlord Down In Flames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike
    "... slowly and steadily sowing the seeds of a double-dip.”
    Double-dipping is never a good thing.



    "Did you just double dip that chip?"

    I have to preface this... Greek-Americans are cool people. Greeks in Greece suuuuuuck. They're anti-American tools and I'm glad they're poorer than a hobo in a beat-to-hell refrigerator box on a cold, rainy night. Fuck you and your gyros, too.

    That said, DIF's fellow Americans, have your chisels at the ready because we're going to have to carve California from the mainland and kick it off into the Pacific Ocean.

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  5. #5
    On Fire Rare Painful Side Effect's Avatar
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    Given S&P's performance in the lead up to the financial crisis, it's amazing they're still around and anyone takes them seriously. Apparently, Greece does not even have enough money to bribe S&P into rating their worthless bonds Triple A like the investment banks did.

    No doubt, though, that Greece is a basket case. With the way the US is pouring money down sinkholes, I'll be surprised if we do not join them at some point in the future.

  6. #6
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rare Painful Side Effect View Post
    Given S&P's performance in the lead up to the financial crisis, it's amazing they're still around and anyone takes them seriously. Apparently, Greece does not even have enough money to bribe S&P into rating their worthless bonds Triple A like the investment banks did.

    No doubt, though, that Greece is a basket case. With the way the US is pouring money down sinkholes, I'll be surprised if we do not join them at some point in the future.
    America will not be alone I'm afraid.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Greece is just the poster-child for what's going on with the EU. Many countries in the union are in hopeless financial shape. Domino's. Looks like Portugal the next to fall. And yeah, this shit's global.

    I was reading a cover story in the N.Y. Times yesterday about the grim news out of Greece and what's coming down the pike. Sounds like bad stuff man.
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  8. #8
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    Default

    edit... oops too many windows open...
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  9. #9
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wruff_ajax View Post
    Greece is just the poster-child for what's going on with the EU. Many countries in the union are in hopeless financial shape. Domino's. Looks like Portugal the next to fall. And yeah, this shit's global.

    I was reading a cover story in the N.Y. Times yesterday about the grim news out of Greece and what's coming down the pike. Sounds like bad stuff man.
    it's beyond bad. Governements have been taking on too much debt for too long (sounds too familiar to those on this continent). Portugal will be next, Italy not too far behind it, We NEED our governments to start making incredibly difficult decisions. People will need to make huge sacrifices to ensure a similar fate doens't hit us in a few years. I fear the problem will simply be ignored though. Too many short-sighted people in power I'm afraid. Also too many voters who don't want to believe the truth.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Down In Flames View Post
    Double-dipping is never a good thing.



    "Did you just double dip that chip?"

    I have to preface this... Greek-Americans are cool people. Greeks in Greece suuuuuuck. They're anti-American tools and I'm glad they're poorer than a hobo in a beat-to-hell refrigerator box on a cold, rainy night. Fuck you and your gyros, too.

    That said, DIF's fellow Americans, have your chisels at the ready because we're going to have to carve California from the mainland and kick it off into the Pacific Ocean.

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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    it's beyond bad. Governements have been taking on too much debt for too long (sounds too familiar to those on this continent). Portugal will be next, Italy not too far behind it, We NEED our governments to start making incredibly difficult decisions. People will need to make huge sacrifices to ensure a similar fate doens't hit us in a few years. I fear the problem will simply be ignored though. Too many short-sighted people in power I'm afraid. Also too many voters who don't want to believe the truth.
    Countries are already so deep in debt and investors have already lost so much and they're not going to keep throwing money away into this super-massive black-hole of spiraling worldwide debt. And now with so much debt coming due in so many countries around the globe it only gets far worse. The single currency throughout Europe makes things immediately worse.

    It is the most vicious of circles: stagnating economies are forced to cut back more, which reduces their ability to generate revenue and thus pay off their debts. As part of the euro zone, these countries do not have the ability to print their own money to stimulate growth and bolster exports, so increasing debt and an increasing prospect of default result.



    Europeans Fear Greek Debt Crisis Will Spread
    By LANDON THOMAS Jr., New York Times
    Published: April 27, 2010


    As Greece inches closer to the brink of financial collapse, fear that the debt crisis will spread is engulfing Europe.


    Increasingly, investors wonder if Portugal, Spain and even Ireland may not be able to borrow the hundreds of billions of dollars they need to finance their government spending.

    “It’s like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns,” said Philip Lane, a professor of international economics at Trinity College in Ireland, referring to the Wall Street failures that propelled the financial crisis of 2008. “It is not so much the fundamentals as it is the unwillingness of the market to fund you.”

    A major ratings agency cut Greece’s debt to junk level on Tuesday, warning that bondholders could face losses of up to 50 percent of their holdings in a restructuring. The agency also downgraded Portugal’s debt by two notches.

    “The situation is deteriorating rapidly, and it’s not clear who’s in a position to stop the Greeks from going into a default situation,” said Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research. “That creates a spillover effect.”

    The problem is that it is not just Greece, which expects to receive international aid, but Portugal, Spain and other countries that must issue more debt soon.

    Each step toward additional support for Greece has appeared to be too little too late.

    The latest proposal, a 45 billion euro package by Europe and the I.M.F., has done little to calm the markets, and Germany’s statement this week that it must first see more deficit reduction from Greece before fulfilling its pledge has only increased concerns that Europe is not united behind Greece.

    “The number would be huge,” said Piero Ghezzi, an economist at Barclays Capital. “Ninety billion euros for Greece, 40 billion for Portugal and 350 billion for Spain — now we are talking real money.”

    Mr. Rogoff says that the I.M.F. could commit as much as $200 billion to aid Greece, Portugal and Spain, but acknowledges that sum alone would not be enough.

    Full story - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/bu...ed=1&src=busln
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    This should be a wake up call for New York, California, Illinois and other states that have started a welfare state.

    You can't just keep spending dramatically more than you take in from tax receipts and expect investors to continue to buy your bonds.
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  13. #13
    Good Enough VH Wahoo's Avatar
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    Spain downgraded, Europe debt crisis widens

    The contagion is spreading...I suggest that the EU finance ministers get together tout de suite!!!

    Spain downgraded, Europe debt crisis widens

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Yeah, that didn't take long.

    Spain downgraded as Europe debt crisis widens
    By JUERGEN BAETZ and PAN PYLAS (AP)

    BERLIN — Europe's debt crisis spread its contagion to another country Wednesday when a major agency downgraded Spain's credit rating, even as Germany grudgingly moved closer to bailing out Greece from imminent collapse.

    Greece and Portugal — up to now the focus of alarm — are relative economic minnows. But Spain's economy, at four times the size of Greece, is considered by many too big to rescue.

    The downgrade for Spain was an ominous new blow, coming just as markets were recovering their poise after the double shock Tuesday of a Standard & Poor's downgrade for Greece — to junk status — and Portugal.
    Story - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...CxMQQD9FCAMOG2




    Italy tomorrow? Ireland?
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  15. #15
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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...-protests.html


    Greece crisis: three bank workers killed in street protests
    Three Greek bank workers were killed when mobs of protesters set fire to buildings in Athens as demonstrations against 'austerity measures' turned to running battles in the streets.

    Greek unions mobilised crowds of 25,000 angry people to march against the government in protests at the 'austerity measures' introduced to try to tackle the country's debt.

    Protesters threw petrol bombs, and tried to gain entry to the parliament building, eventually setting fire to the bank building with 25 staff inside, killing two women and a man.

    Witnesses said the fire spread rapidly and clashes between riot police hampered fire brigade access to the building. "We took 15 minutes to get to the site because it was very difficult to get there," said Panayiotis Falaras, a spokesman for the fire brigade.

    George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, lashed out at the perpetrators of the attack and said they had hijacked a democratic protest.

    He said: "We're a free and democratic country and every citizen has the right to demonstrate. To protest is one thing, to murder is another.

    "The perpetrators of the violence will be arrested and judged."

    The violence broke out after the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who sought Bundestag approval for the 110 billion euro bail-out of Greece, warned that the "future of Europe" was tied to fate of Greece.

    They are worst clashes Athens has seen since the country disclosed that it had covered up a black hole of £272bn debt.

    Residents of the city voiced fears the violence would get worse in the coming days.

    "It has been really ugly and tensions have been running high since morning," said one Athens resident. "It's really hard to bring this under control as over 25,000 people have marched in the streets of Athens against the bail-out package. The clashes are still ongoing. Nobody knows for sure how long this will go on."

    The bank building, located near the Greek parliament, housed a branch of Marfin Egnatia Bank. At least three more buildings were set on fire and 30 fire trucks battled the blazes. The violent protesters were eventually contained by police in full riot gear. Rounds of tear gas and pepper spray were fired into the crowd and smoke filled the area.

    Masked youths threw petrol bombs, broke shop windows and shouted "Murderers" and "Burn the parliament", in a sign of swelling public anger at the government's plans for painful wage and pension cutbacks.

    An austerity bill put before the Greek parliament this week forecast swingeing cuts totalling 30 billion euros a year.

    Measures included expenditure cuts, including lower public sector wages and restrictions on pension benefits. Sin taxes on alcohol and cigarettes as well as VAT was pushed up.

    Left-wing controlled civil servant unions and the rump Communists have spearheaded the demonstrations which have flooded the centre of Athens, a cramped district of hotels and offices in the shadows of the Parthenon.

    Mr Papandreou yesterday condemned the conservative opposition, which had started fiddling the books while in power, for opposing the package and denying the country a united political front at a time when the markets were attacking its credentials. The reaction on the markets was sharply negative with a 6 per cent drop in the Athens Stock Exchange at the outset of trading and further euro weakness against the dollar and pound

    Union leaders admitted that the worst violence the capital has seen since December 2008 when a young boy was killed, would damage the cause of the demonstrators.

    "This is a day of mourning for the labour movement and for Greece as a whole," said Christos Papaspyrou, the president of the Civil Servants Union.

    "The rally was peaceful and sent out a strong message of solidarity that we must resist the excesses of the austerity measures. A small minority of senseless extremists are responsible for what has happened".

    Beyond the barricades there is widespread anger in Greece that the entire country will have to bear the burden of accumulated decades of corruption and mismanagement by the political elite.

    "These measures are unjust and should be paid for by those politicians over the past 30 years who have led us here," said Barbara Tzerbou, 37, a lawyer.
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