Moody’s pours cold water on euro deal

12th December 2011

The ratings agency also questioned last week's communiqué between 26 out of 27 EU states asking what was new about it, as The Telegraph reports.

"In substance, the communique offers few new measures, and does not change our view that risks to the cohesion of the euro area continue to rise. As we announced in November, unless credit market conditions stabilise in the near future, our ratings of all EU sovereigns will need to be revisited. The communique does not change that view, and we continue to expect to complete such a repositioning during the first quarter of 2012."

The comments worried currency markets with the euro falling 0.9 per cent as Business Week reports.

It also quotes Kit Juckes, head of foreign-exchange research at Societe Generale in London saying: "The market is disappointed that nothing more substantial was agreed. There are no convincing reasons for anyone to want to own the euro today."

On FT.com, Stephen King, the group chief economist at HSBC is, if anything, more cutting.

"Even if eurozone countries achieve fiscal salvation, they may still find themselves succumbing to economic and financial crises. Until and unless Germany's current account surplus comes down, the risk of repeated crises will remain very high. The fiscal compact so desired by northern European nations may eventually come through. It is, however, not the right answer. That's because no one in eurozone policymaking circles bothered to ask the right question."

The likely Socialist candidate for the French Presidency Francois Hollande says he would seek to renegotiate the deal according to Market Watch, though he would go further than the 26 have done.

Hollande said in a radio interview that if elected, he would try to convince his European counterparts on three fronts: the issuance of joint eurobonds to combine sovereign debt; allowing more intervention on bond markets by the European Central Bank and agreeing to stimulus measures. Hollande currently has a 14 point lead in the opinion polls over Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Belfast Telegraph reports the views of an Irish transport minister Leo Varadkar, who believes the deal does not go far enough.

"I suspect events will overtake us over the next few weeks. Fiscal co-ordination is a good idea, and it's good that's happening, but it's not going to be enough to solve the problem that we have," he said.

For those who believe the UK's exit is almost inevitable, the Belfast Telegraph also reports the views of the Irish deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore saying the UK's isolation is not in the Ireland's interests and he wants the UK involved in fiscal discussions.

At the weekend, CNN summed up the risks of the deal failing.

"The danger is that with politically-unpopular austerity measures biting deep, the new stricter controls on government borrowing will become unworkable. This could lead to an evaporation of investor confidence, the collapse of debt-exposed banks, an emptying of government coffers, a nosedive by share markets, and bleak prospects for the euro."

More from Mindful Money: 

Do credit ratings matter?

Triple ‘A’ Rating: Does this make Britain a safe haven?

EU plans rating agencies reform

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