Bad things come in threes, my mother always said. Here are three from yesterday:
The country had its credit rating downgraded by Moodys three notches with a negative outlook for the future. For all the complaints about the agencies and their criteria for these pronouncements they can still shape perception about a nation's creditworthiness. The fear has to be that interest rates on Italian bonds will continue to rise, although Moody's report indicates that Italy in likely to default.
According to La Repubblica the downgrade comes "in part from risk derived from economic and political uncertainty." The focus on Italy's political uncertainty is a reminder that the bunga-bunga parties of Silvio Berlusconi are more than tabloid entertainment ... they have an effect on Italy's global economic position.
The BBC quoted Emma Marcegaglia, the head of Italy's leading industrial association, Confindustria, on the matter of Berlusconi and the ratings downgrade
"We are a serious country and we are fed up at becoming the laughing stock of the world."
When Italy has to start paying interest rates over 6% (nudging in that direction since last week) on its bonds it won't be very funny.