Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Atlas Shrunk

If the strong want to lift up the weak,
As the Germans and French would the Greek,
It is best if such acts
Do not overly tax
The Teutonic or Gallic physique.

Plans to support the public finances of Europe's peripheral nations have been thrown into fresh doubt by the news that 
France's Aaa rating from Moody's is under pressure.  The rating agency's French analyst, Alexander Kockerbeck, noted that France has "a lot of additional risks we did not have in the past," pointing to "developments in the euro zone."  The €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility is designed to let the triple-A countries guarantee some of the debts of the shakier ones.  If France is downgraded, then the EFSF must either do without the €158 billion French participation, or accept a double-A rating.  Germany may be bracing for a heavier burden.

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