The Entire World Just Breathed A Sigh Of Relief: S&P Didn't Really Downgrade France

Paris, France

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Phew.Standard & Poors rating service affirmed France’s AAA rating with a stable outlook.

The Dow is up over 100 points now.

Yields on French bonds have been soaring recently compared to their relative lows, and the premium France has to pay on borrowing has been spiking even more sharply.

A rumour—reportedly caused by a glitch on S&P’s website—sparked downgrade fears.

A message was sent out that suggested France had been downgraded, but the S&P swiftly retracted that statement.

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin called the error “shocking.”

Fears are escalating that France could follow Italy as the target of market skittishness, particularly with Italian borrowing costs headed through the roof. Already fragile French banks are highly exposed to Italian debt, France maintains a relatively high debt-to-GDP ratio, and its economy just isn’t growing like it used to.

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