To respond to these fears, Eurex, a consortium of German banks, has issued a new product, which - like an insurance contract - will allow holders of French state bonds to hedge against an eventual inability of France to redeem its debt on time.
Yet, as soon as the announcement of that product was made, François Hollande cried shame and requested the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to intervene and prohibit the product in question.
That reaction, by itself, says a good deal about Hollande's misperception of the functioning of financial markets. (Incidentally, he has declared that his "true adversary is the world of finance.") Hollande appears not to understand that, thanks to the existence of that derivative, investors will be more willing to lend to France, since they now have now the means of protecting themselves from an eventual crisis of France's sovereign debt. Moreover, Hollande thinks that by prohibiting the product, fears about France's financial health - and the ensuing prospects of higher interest rates - would go away.
We thus reach the second similitude between the present situation and that prevailing in 1815: like Waterloo, the impact on Europe will be anything but negligible.
The reason? If the interest rates applied to France's sovereign debt increase significantly, France may need to ask for help from the recently created Eurozone bailout fund. By doing so, France would cease to be the second major lender of that facility (after Germany), becoming a borrower instead.
Such a transformation would be impossible to materialize. Germany has neither the political will nor the financial means to salvage, by herself, the sovereign debt of other countries in the Eurozone - especially not a debt as considerable as that of France. The bailout fund would no longer be operational, which would put pressure on both European sovereign bonds and the euro.
The third and last similitude between the situation of 1815 and the looming Waterloo has to do with tiny Switzerland, a country that - because of the prudent, market-oriented management of its economy - is ripe to benefit from France's vicissitudes, much as she did from Napoleon's failed ambitions.
It is worthwhile to recall that it was as a result of the Congress of Vienna of 1815 that Geneva became a full-fledged canton of the Swiss confederation, enlarging its territory by more than 60 percent with counties that France had to relinquish on that occasion. With the impending turmoil in France's sovereign debt, Geneva, and as a matter of fact Switzerland as a whole, may be expected to absorb from France, not new counties, but fortunes and talents in search of less hostile environments.