Monday, April 23, 2012


Ever switch internet providers?   It's a nightmare.  This has been going on for three days and I think it's finally done.  In the mean time all hell has broken loose in Euroland on the political fronts and the ramifications are not only unknown but impossible to guess.

As expected, Sarkozy lost in the first round to the socialist candidate, Hollande, but by a smaller margin that many--including yours truly--believed would be the case.  Finishing a very strong third was the candidate of the far right, Mme. Le Pen which was another surprise to all.  Sarkozy and Hollande will have a run-off in two weeks and Hollande willwin unless...and it a BIG unless...Sarkozy makes a BIG turn to the right and attracts almost all of Le Pen's support.  It's going to be close in any respect.  Of course whoever wins will probably not get a majority in the legislature and it is there that the knife fighting will be most severe.

While all this was going on the government fell in the Netherlands as a result of the failure of one party in the right wing coalition refusing to agree to the budget limitations imposed on the member states by the agreement in Brussels a month or so ago.  And while all of this was going on 90,000 turned out in the streets in Prague to protest the government's austerity plan.  The usual round of protests, mini-riots and ministerial screaming present in Greece, Spain and to a lesser extent, Italy got moved to the 3rd page of the second section.  Austerity is not a winning political strategy which of course raises the question, what is?

The real loser at this point in time is Frau Merkel who in addition to probably losing the other half of the tag-team that has been running Euroland for the past year now has no one at the helm of her most fervent supporter in the northern coalition.  The collapse of the Dutchies was a tremendous shock and leaves the poor, old girl all alone on an island of fiscal conservatism which is surely an exposed place to be except for the fact that on the island she has all the money in Euroland...hard money that is.  About the only good thing to come out of the weekend is the fact that Greece, Portugal and for a period of time, even Spain are off the front pages.  Of course the Brits are no doubt laughing their bums off at this turn of events but they are also favored with an exchange rate that's higher than it has been in  years which is not exactly prime for them.  For a Euro-skeptic like me it's really fun to watch.

Meanwhile, just a bit west of Euroland in the wilderness know as Washington, D.C., Mme. Legarde got herself a whole new bunch of money with which to build firewalls around some thing in some place, but nobody was really sure  who or where much less how.  She also caught a ration of do-do
from the likes of Brazil and that mob as to why they deserve more and bigger seats at the table.  Of course NO ONE in ruling coalition wants that to happen so it will not.  Not even The Leader is going to push on the end of that rope which was made qiute clear by the United States along with Canada refusing to pony up new capital for the Fund stating that Euroland had enough money to solve it's own problems.  Of course the markets opened down and stayed that was over "concerns" regarding Europe.   Concerns.  The place is in the tank. Now if I can just keep this provider, providing...

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