In a move sure to antagonize EU officials the S&P; put 15 Eurozone countries on “Credit Watch Negative”.

The ratings agency placed the ratings of 15 euro zone countries, including top-rated nations Germany and France, on credit watch negative — a move that signals a possible downgrade in no later than three months.

S&P; said, however, it expects to conclude its review “as soon as possible” following this week’s summit of EU leaders on Friday.

The action was “prompted by our belief that systemic stresses in the eurozone have risen in recent weeks to the extent that they now put downward pressure on the credit standing of the eurozone as a whole,” the ratings agency said in a statement.

There are 17 Eurozone nations and Greece is already rated CC (near-default). Given that Cyprus was downgraded recently, this is an effective downgrade of every country in the Eurozone.

Expect France to bitch loudly tomorrow.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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