Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Except for the National Football League where the G-Men have returned to their rightful position of being on top.  Heck of a match

The other guy on top is Massimo.  Goodness, has he been spot-on throughout this entire thing.  As predicted since we last spoke, nothing has happened.  Today, another meeting was cancelled, part of the reason being that the participants couldn't get into the meeting room because the striking unions barred entry to the building in which the meeting was to be held!  There is no sense of agreement between the political parties meaning that even if the present caretaker administration strikes a deal it will be dead on arrival at the time of the formation of the next government whenever that is...which is why there are now calls for an escrow arrangement, meening the EU will dribble out any funds committed only if and when Greece meets ongoing financial and political targets.  It's like given your 15 year old a weekly allowance only if his/her bedroom is cleaned every day.  And while this is going on the banks try to shore themselves up against the inevitable collapse...do they have the time.  What a way to run a continent.

Meanwhile, back in Brussels, while the banks are trying to conserve every bean, half a dozen countries, most of whom don't count, are prepared to install a financial tax whose effect will be precisely the opposite of what the banks themselves are trying to accomplish not to mention to place another hurdle in the attempt to stimulate growth in the EU.  Of course it's not a bad idea for Switzerland who,  left to their own devices, just might have managed to wreck their banking system (and Switzerland) through malfeasance, fraud and outright stupidity.  Reprieve, Reprieve!  And David Cameron, shaky at best a few months back, looks more and more like Maggie staring down the Argie Bargies whilst the Irish have pretty much decided that nothing gets done in Brussels affecting Ireland  unless they approve it by referendum.  So much for European unity.

MEANWHILE, on this side of the pond, Mr. Bernanke gave exactly the same speech he gave last week in his second go-round before Congress ignoring the surprisingly good economic reports that came out on Friday to the point that the punctuation wasn't even changed!  As the kids say, Whatsupwiththat?  Free money for everybody for all time no matter what?  As I have said before, couldn't one of these guys when asked what is the state of play simply be honest and answer, "Beats the hell out of me."  Jut once? Is that too much to ask?  And while this was going on, the SEC announced that it was looking into ways to make money market funds safer, meaning more regulation, meaning less money market funds in the future and less liquidity in the system.  One solution put forth was to "encourage" banks to get more savings account funding on their balance sheets.  Uh, in case anyone has looked, those institutions that are "systemic" are generally not in the savings account business save perhaps for Wells Fargo.  How about Christmas Clubs guys?  Got any thoughts there?  Or would that be favoring one religion over another?

MEANWHILE,  there was a report today that the IMF is urging the Chinese to stimulate their economy to take up the slack in world growth.  Can a call for the Chinese to revalue their currency by 30% from Chuck Schumer be far behind?  Do you get the feeling that no one is in charge anywhere?  I do.

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