Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morning Brief: S&P downgrades Italian debt, as world contemplates default by Greece; the AJC will add circulars online and into its mobile app tomorrow

It would be negligence not to keep one's eyes on events in Europe and its possible consequences for the world economy. Last night came word that Standard & Poor's had lowered the credit rating on Italian bonds from A+ to A.

The downgrade, which followed a similar downgrade of U.S. debt, comes seven weeks after Italian authorities raided the Milan offices of S&P and Moody's, leading to cries of payback from Italian authorities. The raid, carried out by Carlo Maria Capistro, the chief prosecutor of the small Italian port town of Trani, was launched to discover whether the companies "respect regulations as they carry out their work," according to The Guardian report from seven weeks ago.

Today's downgrade of Italy was caused, S&P said, by the country's weak economic growth and the country's "fragile" government, a direct slap at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In response, the prime minister said “the valuations of Standard & Poor’s seem dictated more by newspaper speculation than by reality, and appear influenced by political considerations,” BusinessWeek reported.

Meanwhile, the NYT is once again leading with a story about the crisis in Greece which talks about the possible consequences of a default.

Despite all this, European markets are up strongly today, possibly reflecting pleasure with the S&P move.

Yesterday TNM reported on the updated apps released by Tribune Interactive that now contain advertising circulars originating from the Associated Press's iCircular.

This morning The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced that tomorrow their AJC Digest mobile app will be updated to add in the iCircular products, as well.

We think it’s a win for the consumers who love the Sunday sales papers, and for the advertisers who have traditionally reached out to them in print with great offers,” said Nunzio Michael Lupo, senior director- digital products for the AJC