How a French banker's comments derailed stocks
A story with a headline "French regulator sees 'partial decoupling' of U.S. and E.U. economies" doesn't sound like the kind to derail stocks from Mumbai to Paris.
Particularly when the losses came Monday, for an article published Friday in the International Herald Tribune, a paper best known for re-printing articles from its parent, The New York Times, in newsstands around Europe.
Understandably, the story was slow to get around. But sitting in paragraph nine, there were comments that amount to a profit warning for banks in France as well as those around the world.
"I'm reasonably confident that French banks will weather this turmoil without major trouble even though they are clearly, like all banks, in the world still in the process of marking down assets," said Christian Noyer, governor of the Bank of France and a member of the European Central Bank's governing council, Noyer's comments about "marking down assets" were enough to hit banks like Societe Generale which saw drops of around 8% on Friday and lost another 7% on Monday.
Chart of FR:013080
The comments from Noyer had a particular impact because the first version of the story - which no longer appear in the online edition -- said he was assessing balance sheets of SocGen and BNP Paribas.
The current story on the IHT's Web site doesn't mention any bank in particular.
Ha, ha, ha....great stuff !
Damn French! Screwed us again [/sarcasm]