I am listening to CNBC continuously talk about Portugal, and am simply getting too frustrated to not post about this.
Do not just listen to commentary. All qualitative commentary is bullshit, including blanket statements made on this blog. (Although I make statements because I do the homework, but when I do not state the fact to which I derive the statement, the statement should be questioned.)
The best example of this is by Brentt Arends from Market Watch who got so frustrated by an analyst Chris Whalen making bullshit statements about California that he set out an article that laid out the numbers and truth. (I wish there were more articles like this from investigative reporters, but it is just easier to provide commentary.)
Portugal is not Greece. Ireland is not Greece. Spain is in no way even in the same concept of Greece. There is no such thing as PIGS, except for the 'G'. (Ireland had a lot more flexibility than the very lightly traded CDS market projected.) IMO, Ireland did not need the bailout, but the EU did it simply to preempt and market perception.
I have personally seen Greece mascaraed as a 2nd rate country when I witnessed its 3rd world character year after year visiting the country.
Look up economies of Portugal, Ireland and Spain via the World Factbook (from the CIA website), and you can blatantly see the differences between all three. Look at their debt ratios, their revenues verse expenditures. Clear differences exist. SEE FOR YOURSELF!
Obviously there are some issues, as there are ALWAYS issues to address, but actions are being taken and the economic measures to trim waste is happening. The cost savings are very good steps in the right direction.