Moody's Downgrades Six European Nations

02/14/2012 08:52 am ET
  • Lindsay The Huffington Post

The financial ratings agency Moody's downgraded credit ratings on Monday for Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.

These downgrades came as a result of "uncertainty" over financial reforms, and "weak" economic outlooks in those areas. Debt ratings can affect the rate at which countries may borrow money, since it's more risky to take a chance on a weak, uncertain country -- a lesson we should, perhaps, all take to heart.

While France, Britain and Austria maintained their A3 status, Moody's changed their outlook on those countries from "stable" to "negative."

"All of these ratings remain on negative outlook given the continued uncertainty regarding financing conditions over the next few quarters and its corresponding impact on creditworthiness," Moody's said, meaning there's a 40 percent chance that those countries could receive a downgrade over the next 18 months.

"Continued uncertainty" tends to be a bad thing, whether it's in a country's economy, or in other, more personal situations involving the balance of power between two people who used to love each other.

Moody's was less harsh than its rival, Standard & Poor's, which downgraded nine countries.

"The limited magnitude of our rating adjustments reflects the gradual progress that European policymakers have made in agreeing to and implementing reforms, and their demonstrated commitment and desire to resolve the underlying fundamental macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances," Moody's said in a statement.

In situations, between people who have once shared romantic love, when "stability" turns to "negativity," and "uncertainty" rules over everything, there's a 100 perchance that someone will have to "downgrade" the rating of the relationship to reflect the total lack of progress that relationship policymakers have made while promising to instate real reforms. Without a demonstrated commitment and desire to resolve the imbalances in that relationship, it's going to be downgrades all around.

A NOTE FROM HUFFPOST VALENTINE'S DAY EDITORS LINDSAY AND TODD, WHO BROKE UP THIS MORNING: We're not letting today's personal issues affect the quality content we bring you every Valentine's Day! Still, if you want to know exactly how Todd Lindsay messed up, we are keeping a liveblog.

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