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The Bitter Pill

The English rugby team has been knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, after a lacklustre performance all round. Even though they managed to win all four of their Pool games, none of the wins was conclusive and it is no surprise that the French team (themselves playing significantly under par) were able to win the game with a seven point lead.

On Friday, the rating’s agency Fitch downgraded Spain (by two notches to AA-, watch negative) and Italy (by one notch to A+, outlook negative). Further warnings about Portugal and Belgium added to the gloom even taking into account the better-than-expected employment report from the US.

The overarching economic news of the weekend, though, was a further meeting between Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy to try to sort out the eurozone problems. So far, there has been a lot of talk, but the markets are soon going to want more detail and even (dare I say it) some action.

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