France

Nobody’s trying to put Paul Singer in jail—yet—but the Elliott Management chief has had to disclose an insider-trading probe to his investors. Read more »

  • 12 Dec 2012 at 2:40 PM

Layoffs Watch ’12: Crédit Agricole

Zee French are considering some sackings in the new year. Read more »

This news brought to you by former International Monetary Fund chief-turned-alleged aggravated pimp Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

  • 17 Jan 2012 at 11:58 AM

Europe Needs A Better Blender

I guess we should talk about Europe and credit ratings. Now France isn’t AAA and Italy isn’t A and Portugal isn’t investment grade and here is something that someone at S&P actually said:

Our role is to give timely information to investors and if you give them timely information, if you give it to them in modest increments, then we think that they can make their own judgments about how they are going to allocate their portfolios.

Really! That could be S&P’s motto, “timely information, but in modest increments. Also not really that timely.”

If you’re into this sort of thing, though, the action is not in France so much as it is in the European Financial Stability Facility. The EFSF is basically, France and Germany and the other eurozone countries issue a bunch of debt*, put it into a blender, pulse until smooth, and then issue it as “EFSF debt.” The EFSF gets the money and uses it to prop up Greece, buy Italian bonds, etc. Because all the things are also all the other things, people saw this and were like:

1. Hey, that’s a CDO!
2. CDOs suck boo etc.

Here’s what the EFSF had to say about those claims:
Read more »

  • 13 Jan 2012 at 1:12 PM

Standard & Poor’s Just Getting Started

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has notified the French government of its decision to downgrade the country’s credit rating, a senior French government official said Friday, a move that marks the long-awaited blow to France’s international standing and knocks the country out of the top financial league of the euro zone. S&P has informed the French government that the country’s cherished triple-A rating will be lowered one notch to double-A-plus. S&P has also notified other European governments of looming ratings downgrades, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

…on October 15, two weeks before MF Global filed for bankruptcy, Corzine and his wife, Sharon Elghanayan, were at a birthday party in Paris talking about a château they were about to buy in the South of France. “It’s not in Cap Ferrat,” one person recalls Elghanayan saying, perhaps to mitigate the extravagance. “To buy any decent château is at least a couple of million euros,” explains another person who was at the party, “and that is before the renovation with the air-conditioning and the new kitchen. Sharon was very excited. She said she was flying down there on Monday morning.” [Vanity Fair]

  • 16 Dec 2011 at 2:04 PM

Fitch: You Should Just Give Up Already

Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook on France’s triple-A rating to “negative” from “stable,” indicating there is a 50-50 chance the nation could lose its top investment-grade rating over the next two years. The move came as Fitch also placed its ratings on six other euro-zone nations, including Spain and Italy, on watch for downgrade after it concluded a “comprehensive solution” the region’s debt crisis is “technically and politically beyond reach.” [WSJ]

  • 15 Nov 2011 at 2:06 PM

Layoffs Watch ’11: BNP Paribas

Cuts going down circa now. Read more »