Unfortunately, the news from across the pond seems to continue to get worse. Europe, already mired in a deep economic slump related to uncertainties surrounding debt crises in Greece, Ireland and Spain, got more bad news as Italy, one of the Eurozone’s largest economies, saw their credit rating downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. We have already seen significant public unrest across Greece, and it has begun to spread to Italy and other countries. The markets are already basically pricing in a 100% certainty of a Greek default: short-term interest rates on Greek debts are close to 100%. Greek’s national debt, currently at 140% of GDP, will be at 180% by the end of the year. They simply cannot make their interest payments. Without some form of a significant and ongoing series of bailouts, Greece will default. The big question is not if, but when…and what. Because a default would do serious damage to the Greek economy, there is serious discussion about Greece exiting the Euro and devaluing its currency; an option that would accelerate a pan-European financial crisis and is generally considered to be even less desirable than a large-scale bailout package. The bottom line is that this is not going to end well. And while many Americans might believe that European financial challenges are remote and will not impact them personally, the unfortunate reality is far from the truth. European and American economies are intimately connected, and a crisis over there will increase the chances of a crisis here at home.