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AAA No More: Credit Downgrade Hits France

France was among nine European countries that saw their sovereign debt ratings cut Friday. The move could boost borrowing costs in Paris and undermine a plan to contain the European debt crisis. But the loss of France's AAA rating is also likely to play a role in President Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election bid.

S&P Downgrades Several Eurozone Countries

Standard and Poor's has downgraded the credit ratings of nine eurozone countries, including France. S&P has had 15 eurozone countries on a "negative credit watch" for weeks, so the announcement Friday wasn't much of a surprise. Analysts, though, are concerned about possible ripple effects. Audie Cornish talks with NPR's John Ydstie for more.
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U.S. Economic Outlook

Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke weighs in on March employment numbers. We take a look at what rising corporate profits and smaller-than-expected domestic job growth means for the overall economic outlook.


S&P Has Downgraded France's Credit, Says Country's Finance Minister

Standard & Poor's downgraded France's sovereign debt rating to AA+. The move may affect the Eurozone bailout fund.

Transcripts Show A Fed With An 'Embarrassing' Lack Of Foresight Into Housing Crash

Newly released transcripts show the year before the Great Recession was officially declared, the Fed was worried about the economy growing too fast.

Investors Show Confidence In Spain, Italy

Spain and Italy have held their first bond auctions of 2012. Spain raised double its target amount, at interest rates a full point or more lower than last month. Italy did somewhat the same. One analyst said the painful austerity programs appear to be bearing fruit.

Layoffs Hit Wall Street As Financial Needs Change

Big banks announced around 60,000 job cuts in 2011. With businesses and consumers still focused on reducing debt, there isn't the same need for financial services as there was before, says one banking analyst. The outlook in the years ahead is for a smaller, more stable and less profitable industry.

In GOP Campaign, Private Equity Firms Draw Flak

The public relations problem for private equity capitalists at firms such as Bain, KKR and Blackstone is that they are the agents of the creative-destruction part of capitalism. They aim to take over underperforming firms and operate them more efficiently. In that process, people do lose their jobs.