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“Standard & Poor’s accidentally released a message to some of its subscribers on Thursday saying that it had downgraded French debt from its top AAA rating. S&P said it was investigating what had gone wrong and stressed that France still had an AAA rating.” [BBC]
The leaders of France and Germany disappointed financial markets Tuesday by ruling out issuing euro bonds to fix Europe’s debt crisis. Instead, they agreed to float proposals in September for a tax on financial transactions and push for closer joint governance of economic policy. Many experts say the only way to ensure affordable financing for the bloc’s most financially distressed countries would be for the euro area to issue joint eurobonds. But both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they believed euro bonds were not part of the solution to Europe’s debt crisis…Sarkozy and Merkel also proposed that all 17 euro zone countries commit to balanced finances and write that goal into their constitutional law by summer 2012. Among other measures announced, he said they would also seek to ensure better cross-border economic government for the euro zone via twice-yearly meetings of leaders and the creation of a two-and-a-half-year presidency to steer this forum. [CNBC, earlier]