Tuesday, October 25, 2011


TThere will be no meeting of the finance ministers tomorrow so I was half right.  There will be a meeting of the heads of state so that some completely useless but high-sounding communique can be issues because they have to say something as silly as that sounds. Given what occured over the weekend it might be interesting to watch the goings-on because it might turn into something like an Israeli parliament meeting and an actual fist-fight might break out.

I must admit, for the first time I'm beginning ro get worried not because the facts have become any different but because of the rhetoric which reache a feaver pitch on Sunday with Burlesconi being called out and insuted by Sarkozy and Angie and Frank telling the British P.M., David Cameron, "You have missed an excellent chance to shut up."

Politicians of all stripes have huge egos (The Leader being an exception as he is nothing but ego) and it is therefore not a particularly wise thing to do to tell one's peers to shut up or how to run his country but that is exactly what happened.  The fact that most of this came from the little popinjay Sarkozy made it even worse as there is wide agreement that he is the dumbest guy (or girl) in the room.  In addition, the fact the Mme. Sarkozy is a hell of a lot better looking than Burlesconi's once-17 year old girl friend even made things worse if I know Italians.  The meeting disolved into a shouting match and obviously things have yet to calm down, hence, no concrete action on Wednesday.

I tell this tale not because in the long run this incident will be the deciding point but because the well is now poisoned on a personal level and that makes agreement even harder.  In addition, while a British P.M. is used to being insulted in public as are his political colleagues, they take badly to this occuring at the hands of a fro...er...Frenchman, they react badly.  Mr Cameron had to resist and turn back a very strong demand from members of his own party to call for a referendum on Britian's continued membership in the EU which would surely result in a demand that Britian depart.  Whilst not a killer, that would be a devestating blow to the Union.

Sarkozy's actions are clearly the result of the shades being raised on the state of his country's credit and in particular on the state of the French banking system which is now being exposed as having done nothing to get it's house in order for the past three years.  Keeping in mind that the present head of the IMF, Mme. Lagrande, was the former French finance minister and in that role responsible for the condition of the banking system, the IMF is now seriously compromised.  Today, The Suit, who in the recent past had always made warm, fuzzy noises about helping out particularly through the good offices of the IMF, started walking back that cat now that things were getting ugly.  Sarkozy is desperate in the sense that he is way behind in the early polls and must protect French assets in the game if he has any chance at all of holding on to the Presendency.  Obviously the leaked number of 108 billion Euros of new capital believed to be needed is based upon only what the remaining Euros will pony up  in any sort of recapitalization plan which will not go very far, meaning France will have to come up with a lot more on its own for its own banks, which means bye, bye their triple-A rating which means...oh why bother.  The fact is NOBODY knows what's needed because there has been no agreement on a figure of debt relief for Greece, and Italy has to be delt with first which translates into Burlesconi and his party (coalition?) must do what Merkel and Sarkozy want him to do.

That the Euros have cocked this up so badly almost defies belief.  Greece is rapidly becoming an afterthought and more and more of this drama's happy ending has been placed upon the badly maligned  Burlosconi to do the right thing according to the maligners.  Will he?  We shall see.  Oh, by the by, for the non-Italian speakers out there:  Sangue per Sangue?  That means blood for blood.  Italians are very serious about certain things.

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