The speculation of the losses due to big derivatives losses at such as large bank echoed through the Paris exchanges and put downward pressure on the banks’ shares.

One thing that could aid France in this downturn is the fact that there, it’s much harder to spend what you don’t have, reports John Laurenson for Marketplace. Qualifying for a mortgage there can involve proving you’re healthy and getting a life insurance policy.

That doesn’t mean all is well there – the housing market is bearish and thousands of restaurants and cafes have gone out of business – but France’s banking system is a little more trustworthy than most.

iShares MSCI France (EWQ) is down 43.5% year-to-date.

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