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ATHENS -- Ratings agency Standard & Poor's pushed Greece to the brink of a financial abyss Tuesday and downgraded Portugal's debt, too, fueling fears of a continent-wide debt meltdown in Europe.
Stocks around the world tanked when Greek bonds were lowered to junk status and investors saw that Greece's financial contagion was spreading to at least one other eurozone country.
Major European exchanges fell more than 2.5 percent, and on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average finished down more than 200 points. The euro slid more than 1 percent to nearly an eight-month low.
"We have the makings of a market crisis here," said Neil Mackinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.
"And when the system finally collapsed under the weight of those toxic mortgages, Goldman profited from the collapse," he added.
"Our clients' trust is not only important to us, it's essential to us. That's why we are a successful firm," he said.
But neither the hearing, nor Tuesday's market turmoil triggered by downgrades in Greek and Portuguese debt harmed Goldman's share price.
The bank's shares were up 0.7% at $153.04 (£100) by close of trading.