About that France “downgrade”… | FT Alphaville

About that France “downgrade”…

… We don’t know whether there were any bullets in the revolver at the time:

LONDON (Standard & Poor’s) Nov. 10, 2011–As a result of a technical error, a message was automatically disseminated today to some subscribers of S&P’s Global Credit Portal suggesting that France’s credit rating had been changed. This is not the case: the ratings on Republic of France remain ‘AAA/A-1+’ with a stable outlook, and this incident is not related to any ratings surveillance activity. We are investigating the cause of the error.

How strange is that? And obviously not related to any ratings surveillance activity whatsoever. After all why would anyone be looking to downgrade France?

That’s clearly ridiculous, right?

Good luck with that investigation S&P!

Update: 17.19 (London time).

Here’s is the offending alert.

(Click to enlarge)

The “mistaken” ratings action went out just after 3pm, and note the sudden move upwards in the 10-year yield…

… which somewhat disturbingly has yet to be reversed.

And in other non-mistake news, Egan Jones, the ratings agency of, ahem, Jefferies fame, is considering downgrading the Fifth Republic.

Via Bloomberg:

France may have its credit grade lowered by Egan-Jones Ratings Co., because the euro-region’s second largest economy is becoming one of its weakest.

“I believe we’re at A+ and probably heading south” on France’s rating, Sean Egan, the firm’s president and founding principal, said in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance with Ken Prewitt and Tom Keene.

A list of Europe’s weaker countries ‘‘might extend also to France,’’ he said. Egan-Jones currently rates France AA-, he said in response to an e-mailed question after the interview.

Related link:
French exposure in pictures – FT Alphaville