Standard and Poor’s just announced they’ve downgraded Italy’s credit rating to A from A+, with a negative outlook. Italy is the camel that will break Europe’s back if they can’t contain the crisis to the smaller countries of the periphery. The following chart from the American Enterprise Institute illustrates why.
Note the €440 EFSF is easily be overwhelmed by Italy, which has €465 government bonds maturing through the end of 2013. If the crisis continues and the full contagion spreads, the fear is Italy could lose market access. Some expect the ECB will monetize the financing gaps, but the Germans are not so warm to the idea.
Do the math, folks, then contact your MEP and demand they stop dithering and come up with a comprehensive solution. This will have to include bullet proofing European bank balance sheets and debt relief for Greece. We suspect, and maybe it’s just hope, they’re working on something.
(click here if chart is not observable)