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November 25, 2011

Is there widespread sovereign currency risk associated with the debt crisis?


''S&P downgrades Belgium's debt

Belgium became the latest country to see its debt downgraded as a result of the eurozone crisis, in a further sign that debt market turmoil is no longer confined to the so-called peripheral countries of the currency bloc.

Standard & Poor's on Friday evening lowered its long-term rating to AA from AA+, maintaining a negative outlook.

The rating agency cited Belgium's 578-day political impasse as a factor in its decision. Tensions between Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north and the francophone south caused the federal government to collapse in April 2010, and progress on forming a new administration has been glacial.

Belgian bond yields have risen precipitously in recent weeks, reaching 5.9 per cent for 10-year paper, as eurozone leaders continue to scramble for a solution to the protracted debt crisis.''

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