April 27, 2010
Posted: 1631 GMT

We'd been leading with the Goldman Sachs hearings on Capitol Hill all morning when an urgent wire crossed: Greece's sovereign debt has been downgraded to "junk" status by ratings agency Standards and Poors.

This means the ratings agency thinks Greece's debt is riskier than in its previous assessments. Investors are now being told that chances of them not getting their money back from Greece are higher. This will push up interest rates and prolong the debt crisis in Europe.

It also means other countries in the Eurozone might have to come up with a more ambitious plan to save Greece from drowning in debt it can't repay.

Stock markets across the continent are down. The anxiety over Greece's debt (and a downgrade for Portugal) has spread to Wall Street. We will go live to New York where Stephanie Elam will break the story down for us.

Stephanie will also join us to cover the Goldman Sachs hearings in Washginton DC. Top executives of the venerable financial insitution are today being grilled on accusations that they knowingly misled investors with deals tied to the subprime mortgage market they knew would lose money.

Join us for that and the rest of the day's top stories from Moscow, Paris, Baghdad and Yemen.

See you at the IDesk!


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Padma Sethi   April 27th, 2010 6:39 pm ET

Greece is the first economy to 'tank' making EU double-dip recession possible, buy AU Bars instead of Euro denominated bonds. Portugal, Ireland, Italy GREECE and Spain (PIIGS) are all in line for same treatment by this September. There is a 'saying you have to be cruel to be kind' it would be in the interests of EU to let Greece default than to bailout as the true debts ratio of Greece is still hidden and rising from 14% last week; after default it would be easier for Gov. to implement new fiscal policies as population realised they cannot lives on borrowed monies or avoid paying taxes and to tighten their belt and make wealthy Greek to start paying taxes instead of buying £1M+ Homes in London. The Greek government should ask Brussels/UK provide lists of wealthy Greek buying £1M London homes to repatriate 50% back to Greece as wealthy Greeks are depriving average Londoners a chance to step into property ladders inflating London Properties by their reckless buying behaviour. This cash repatriation would help Greece pays One month interests on borrowed monies even the wealthy Greek enjoyed in the last many years. Every wealthy Greek with a conscience should follow 'NANA MASCOURIE' singer Euro MP by giving their up £1M+ London Homes or Pension to the Greece Government to pay the insterests on National Debts. Bailout is like spoiling a naughty child with more of the same cause where balance between punishments and rewards are difficult to impose. My opinion is not to give unlimited bailout but to let Greece default; afterall Greece is a junk State already; bailout would be lost like arresting flow in a severed jugular.

Muthyavan.   April 28th, 2010 2:32 pm ET

Bail out or no bail out Greece economy is another volcanic eruption in the slow recovery of EU economy after the recent world economic dawn turn. It has come after the recent EU economic dawn turn of the travel industry by the volcanic eruption in Iceland and if it spread to other EU nations which are under red tape. EU will faces one its historic attempt to pull its economy out the present mess.

While world bank and other economic institutions are busy with the sudden rating of Greece economy status,Goldman Sachs, another leading economic institution had come under a close examination by the USA senate for its past business blunders. It all demonstrate how the world democratic societies are dealing with the day to day economic problems in an open way exposing all wrong doings.

Thot   May 3rd, 2010 8:38 pm ET

I don't get it. Portugal had one of the highest employment rates this last month (10,5%), has establish very strict economic rules, which will affect most the middle and poor classes (freezing salaries, reducing employment help), and yet Portugal is able to deliver 2 million of Euros to help Greece?
This is a country where, even employs with a degree, to work, have to content with jobs down the minimum wage (475 Euros), one of the lowest in the EU. Bosses say they can afford to pay more.
But yet, you’ll see the bosses, managers, etc. being high paid, and buying new company cars. Why government doesn't reduce their wages and mostly unnecessary expenses as well?
The richer get richer, and the poor get poor. Maybe EU should worry more in creating rigid measures to reduce these economical and social injustices.

Thot   May 3rd, 2010 8:48 pm ET

To reduce employment: reduce the wage of each high paid manager (that have all extra bonus or paying awards and, amazingly, never seem to be unaffected by any economic crisis that affect the normal working people), and use it instead to create a new job. Believe me, lots of jobs could be created with that money, or underpaid workers could have a more fair wage.
But this is the world we live on.

Thot   May 4th, 2010 2:08 pm ET

When I said employment I mean unemployment. That "word" correcting tool messed up, and I messed up as well by not noticing the mistake. Sorry.

Thot   May 4th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

I must admit that, since that episode of massive weapons destruction Iraq should have, I’m a little sceptical about what western countries say about other possible threatening countries. Mr. Bush open a precedent on something that he false justified, so I wonder the reasons others mention now against Iran are really true or just a way to get rid of Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ? I don’t won’t another Iraq.

Smith in Oregon   May 6th, 2010 7:22 am ET

Regretfully Greece's Debt Meltdown outlines the current morass of International Monetary Systems and the world wide stock exchanges use of 'short' casino bets for any given item to fail.

In this case Trillions of leverage dollars on the world wide stock markets are BETTING on Greece's monetary system to FAIL. Those betting 'short' will make Billions of dollars directly as a result. AND those betting against gains in the EURO currency also make Millions of dollars directly as a result.

The fix is in folks, Greece is being levered into failure by nations and financial groups around the world which is also going to drag the entire European economy into the abyss of has been with it.

Smith in Oregon   May 7th, 2010 7:55 am ET

The groups and investment firms that sucked Trillions of dollars out of the worlds stock market investors thru placing millions of 'Short' options is back at it like sharks in the tank with Greece as it is increasingly evident that Greece is unable to support it's debt ceiling without collapsing. As this becomes more evident, reluctant wall street investors are joining the sharks in a feeding frenzy betting huge amounts that Greece's economy will fail.

Portugal, Italy and Spain are now being lined up in the cross-hairs from these same nefarious investors and organizations.

Today in the span of 30 minutes it became fully evident to the entire world how powerful short selling is on dropping the price of a single stock and the resulting shock waves dropped stocks to mere penny's which were 20-70 dollars a share a previous hour before!

Super computers executing stock trades in Milli-seconds employ a near perfect arbitrage where they gain a casino house edge which reaps small amounts however on a huge scale of transactions those small amounts add up to an enormous amount of profits on a daily basis. How active those supercomputer trading algorithms was definitely looked at and noticed today. While it was rumored and reported to have been a trading mistake consisting of a large order of proctor gamble stocks, the trader added an extra 3 digits to the size?

Officially reported as a Wall Street floor broker initiating billions instead of millions of shares? That really doesn't sound right. The buyer would have had to have 60+ Billion dollars minimum in their account for that specific broker to purchase 60 Billion shares at 60 dollars a share. Of course the buyer didn't have that huge amount setting in the brokers account, no way and no how.

The 'official' reason for today's collapse of the Wall Street market was a red herring, propaganda, smoke and mirrors. The 'real' reason was more likely someone very high up in the Federal Treasury department ordered a red flag event to see the extent of supercomputer stock trading across the world as the stocks dropped to the floor those programs all engaged in hyper-drive supplying a lifetime of information on who, how many and what percentage of supercomputers are being used per nation and around the world to chose, purchase and influence the worlds stock markets.

Which brings us once again to the current dilemma in Europe. Portugal, Italy and Spain are like lines in the sand. If these organizations and investors are able to devalue and default the economy's in those country's, the Euro and Europe's entire national economy would be severely weakened and those organizations will grow stronger with every conquest.

Smith in Oregon   May 7th, 2010 11:19 pm ET

This sudden 1,000 point drop in a 30 minute freefall in America's Wall Street DOW stock exchange appears to be a Red Flag event deliberately called on by a high ranking Federal Treasury official.

This created emergency appears to have been used to discern the origins, groups and organizations who are using 'short' options and 'short' trading supercomputer algorithms to currently destroy Greece's economy, the Euro and now has Portugal, Italy and Spain in its gun sights.

What I find amazing is the utter greed of these groups and investment organizations. As billions lost millions of dollars around the world, these groups and investment organizations pocketed Trillions and bankrupted entire nations in the process. Now they have Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy in its gun sights as they further devalue the Euro weakening all of Europe in the process.

Forced devaluation of a entire country's or nations currency by the insiders at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is nothing new. On behalf of Bush sr. Panama's currency went to worthless as Bush sr. hoped that would cause Panama's people to toss out Noriega. On behalf of Bush jr. N. Korea's currency went to worthless as Bush jr. hoped that would cause N. Korea to stop it's Nuclear ambitions.

Is the IMF behind the destruction of Greece's economy and the Euro?

I do not believe it is, however with each successful campaign these nefarious investment organizations wages and nations destroyed, they are rapidly becoming as powerful if not more powerful than the entire IMF around the world. Both Bush's appear to have used the IMF for their corrupt and unethical political ends in literally blackmailing nations into their desired political direction.

The concern the International and American public should have is 'what if any political agenda does these powerful investment organizations and firms has on the world stage'? They are certainly as powerful as the IMF blackmailing a Nation down a specific political direction as the Bush Family values previously noted. BUT WILL THEY?

I do agree with a portion of the growing anarchists movement in Greece in their global view of the illusion that is dissolving democracy:

In a democracy, Money is King and rules the growth and direction of democracy, laws and its lawmakers.

When a nations currency is NOT backed by a solid commodity such as Gold, Silver, Land Standards on a 1:1 basis then that currency is entirely artificially inflated and has no inherent worth behind it.

AND as the illusion of a nation's currency value is exposed, the Democracy that Nations currency supports and props up is exposed as artificially propped up as well, ethereal and based on illusion.

Smith in Oregon   May 10th, 2010 8:36 am ET

Today it was revealed to the American public that the US Federal Treasury has 1 Trillion dollars in outstanding loans to Greece which along with a unreported additional huge amount of private American investors in Greece are at total risk if Greece implodes and is unable to make good on its debt structure.

It would seem the very organized groups and firms that are banking on making hundreds of Billions by bankrupting Greece via their 'short' options on the world stock exchanges certainly do not have the US and Europe's current Government's best values in mind.

This released revelation of at least 1 Trillion US taxpayer dollars at stake seems to reinforce my previous claim that the Dow Jones software glitch was purposefully created by the US Treasury Dept. to help them discern, expose and uncover the location and extent of the firms and investors that are shorting Greece into bankruptcy.

That previously commented on red flag event underscores just how serious the US Treasury Dept. privately views the unfolding collapse of Greece's economy and it's losses to America and Europe in its wake.

Smith in Oregon   May 14th, 2010 4:06 pm ET

While the influx of nearly 60 Billion in Cash was recently injected into Greece by the IMF, the sharks smelling blood by using the 'short' option to bet on Greece's economy to fail simply ate thru that and are now going for Greece's throat. Stock Markets around the world are reflecting the dawning of private organizations and investment firms who appear to be as powerful if not more powerful than the IMF themselves!

Dow Jones investors here in America are shocked by the speed in which the banking to fail sharks ate thru that large cash infusion in Greece and continue eating that countrys economy into the abyss.

The other day I saw a breakdown of the heavy hand of Goldman Sachs which apparently somehow pushed and convinced Greece and many other failed and failing nations to hyper-extend themselves well beyond accepted credit to debt limits. It's funny you don't see anyone talking about Goldman Sach's International involvement in these failures.

Danlami Danasabe   June 3rd, 2010 12:03 am ET

Shame to Obama for supporting Isreal on this massacre,You are a coward and you can't do anything to Iran if you support this terrorist act committed by isreal terrorist.the whole world had condem this except your goverment.

sijbrand takes   June 16th, 2010 7:10 pm ET

Well yes and no. Compare Israel with Iran is silly. Iran killing gays, woman for not being properly dress. Come on!!! No religious freedom. Ergo when you are openly not Muslim you are un trouble, if you Baha'i your prosecuted. Hell the Iranian religious faschist regime kills its own people. Yes there is injustice towards the Palestinians, a lot actually, but comparing Israel, or any country for that matter with Iran, wishing for the stoneage.

Andrea Toth from Budapest   March 15th, 2012 11:15 am ET

We never missed anything more than programmes of cnn with a healthy interest in the world today, so share the averyday sorrow and
change and hope to see you again

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