Stocks for Safety?

Sovereign bonds took a beating. Why multinationals are better than nations

Woe to the Unfortunate souls still exposed to European debt. The smart money (people like Warren Buffett and hedge funders not named John Paulson) got out of it 18 months ago. Initially, a lot of that money fled to U.S. T-bills, which have benefited somewhat from the chaos overseas. But that advantage may not last for long. Even as it threatens to downgrade most of Europe, Standard & Poor's stripped the U.S.'s AAA rating after this summer's debt-ceiling circus, which looks to become a regular event. AA, it seems, is the new AAA for rich countries.

For investors, the upshot is...

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