Sunday, November 18, 2007

Splitting Up Belgium

Here's One for you fans of the information coming out of financial markets:
The spreads over German bonds have jumped from four to 17 as questions grow about the long-term status of Belgium's €278 billion (£198 billion) public debt.
Those markets are indicating that many more people think Belgium will break up. Real money tends to bitch slap people into reality a bit. If it does, there'll have to be some allocation of that debt to the various places that then become sovereign:
"The Belgian Treasury has no plan at all. They could think about two systems: one where the debt is guaranteed as a whole by the two regions. Or they could split it between the two regions, but that is not easy because they have different credit ratings.
"Flanders has AAA, while Brussels and Wallonia are lower,"
Be nice to buy Belgian debt at AA+ and end up with Flanders at AAA, wouldn't it? But that isn't, unfortunately, what's likely to happen in the event of a break up. If markets aren't what you use instead of tea leaves, how about this?
There is an online petition site calling for Belgian unity with stickers and posters up all over Brussels, the glory of it is that all the slogans are in English as they wouldn't dare put them in either of the big national languages.
Difficult to argue for national unity if you have to use a foreign language to unite your supporters really, isn't it?

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