Moody’s Cuts Irish Credit to Junk Status

Bailout fever is sweeping Europe faster than any ailment since the Black Death. Following warnings on Greek, Portuguese, and now Italian debt, the ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Irish debt to junk status. The agency says it’s likely that Ireland will need a second bailout, following a November 2010 infusion, and predicted that the private sector would be forced to bear some of the burden. European policymakers are concerned about economic chaos in weaker members of the euro zone spreading to threaten the EU’s stronger economies. Meanwhile, riots broke out in Northern Ireland during a Protestant parade when the procession passed an estate full of Catholic youths. Police fired plastic bullets and water guns at the rioters.