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: