"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve News Wrap-Up

Let's see what we can see...
In a refreshing change of pace for a European nation, Standard & Poor's has maintained it's AAA rating on French sovereign debt. "The stable outlook is based on our view of the French government's substantial achievements with its budgetary consolidation strategy, enabling it to meet its fiscal targets through 2013." There had been some serious concern about the nation's credit rating, mostly due to it's public debt[1], and the cost of insurance for their debt has tripled this year.
Ireland's High Court ruled that Allied Irish Banks can be taken over by the Irish government without shareholder approval. This clears the way for Dublin to pump 3.7 billion euros[2] into AIB, taking their ownership stake from 19% to 92% in the process. (There are, in other words, legitimate reasons why AIB was down about 12% in trading today.) The company will also be delisting from the main Irish and London exchanges.
On the lighter side, an anonymous source at Wikileaks has leaked all of the quarter million or so US diplomatic cables and military records to the Norwegian Aftenposten news service. Quis effluiet ipsos effluoes?[3]
[1] France's public debt stands at 77.60% of GDP, which is worse than Portugal, Italy, or Spain.
[2] Which is about half of the 6.1 billion euros it needs by February 28th to hit its mandatory 12% capitalization.
[3] Who leaks the leakers?

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