Irish Debt Downgraded To “Junk” Status By Moody’s

13 July 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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Irish Debt Downgraded To “Junk” Status By Moody’s

The ratings agency Moody’s have downgraded Irish debt status to “junk”, a decision that has been openly criticised by the European Commission. The decision followed, although is unrelated to, comments made by Michael Noonan, the Minister for Finance, on the new Greece debt proposal made by the eurozone finance ministers and how these new measures to aid the country would benefit Ireland. Conversely, these new proposals were the same reason for Moody’s to downgrade Ireland, claiming that they increased the likelihood of Ireland defaulting on its debt if another bailout from Europe was sought.  

The newly assigned “junk” status led to a slump in Irish bonds, with yields climbing. Almost simultaneously, borrowing costs in Italy and Spain lept to the highest levels seen for 14 years and eurozone leaders organised an emergency meeting this Friday to reassess the Greece debt crisis, the continuing weak link in the EU.  Many of the options proposed at the Monday meeting Noonan predicts will lesser the price of the Irish bailout, give room to reduce the State’s burden and even ease it back into the private markets.

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