Monday, March 30, 2009

Irish lose AAA rating

The government of the Republic of Ireland lost it's AAA rating from Standard and Poor's today, according to the Irish Times. The country's debt was downgraded to AA+. According to S&P that means that Ireland no longer has an "extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments" just a "strong capacity." The move puts Ireland in the same category as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. 

The move, comes almost eight years after Ireland first gained the coveted AAA-rating. The boom of the Celtic Tiger has been heavily hit by the current global downturn. The country's GDP was off 7.5 percent year-over-year in the forth quarter of 2008, according to Reuters.

Ireland is not the first European country to have it's debt downgraded. Greece had it's debt downgraded in January and ratings agency Moody's cut Hungary's debt back in November.

The downgrades will make the cost of borrowing more expensive at the same time that President Obama will try to convince EU leaders to enact fiscal stimulus.

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