Portugal is downgraded by Fitch

Portugal was just downgraded by Fitch from a AA to a AA-.

Although the agency said Portugal's austerity budget was "credible", it said the government would need "to implement sizeable consolidation measures from next year", as well as reverse stimulus measures this year, in order to get its debt levels under control.

Can a credit rating agency has so much power they can force a nation to remove it's economic Stimulus prematurely?

The downgrade could mean Portugal has to pay higher yields on government bonds to attract investors, making it more expensive for the country to borrow money - even though other leading ratings agencies may not necessarily follow Fitch's lead.

So, it's not just consumers who get hammered with high interest rates at the very time they don't need them, it's nations now.

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Ireland contracts 5.1% annualized, Q4 2009

Ireland just reported a -5.1% GDP number for Q4 2009 it appears and a whopping -7.1% for 2009. That's the lowest on record, since 1922.