1. Downward Spiral

    S&P Downgrades Spain

    Members and supporters of the CCOO Workers Union and the General Union of Workers (UGT) hold placards as they take part in a protest organized by Unions against the Spanish government's austerity policies at the Atocha Square in the centre of Madrid on October 7, 2012. Thousands joined a protest march in the Spanish capital today against the conservative government's austerity policies amid growing uncertainty over whether the country will need a financial bailout.   AFP PHOTO / DANI POZO        (Photo credit should read DANI POZO/AFP/GettyImages)

    Dani Pozo, AFP / Getty Images

    Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has lowered Spain’s debt rating from BBB+ to BBB-, the rating just one level above junk-bond status. The agency also lowered the country’s short-term sovereign level from A-2 to A-3 and assigned a negative outlook to its long-term rating. Spain recently announced its fifth austerity package in under a year and requested $129 billion in aid in June. The country also plans to borrow 207.2 billion Euros, or about, $266 billion, next year, which will boost its debt load to 91 percent of economic output. Back in 2007, the rate was only 36 percent.

    Read it at Bloomberg News