A Bad Day For Greece

Update, April 23: Greece will formally request a bailout today.

Greece needs that bailout sooner rather than later. And it may not be enough.

The EU just raised (again) its estimate of Greece's 2009 deficit. And officials said they still have "a reservation on the quality of the data reported by Greece" and may come back with another revision that's higher yet.

Moody's just lowered its rating on Greek debt, and said further downgrades could follow.

Bond investors bolted.

The difference between what it costs Greece to borrow money and what it costs Germany to borrow money — a key measure of investor confidence — shot up to its highest level since 1998.

Five-year contracts that pay off if Greece is unwilling or unable to pay its debt got a lot more expensive; the market is now pricing in a 41% chance of default, according Bloomberg News.

Greece has spent half of its modern life in default, according to one recent estimate. And the bailout promised by the IMF and EU may not be enough to save Greece this time.

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