Friday, May 4, 2012


...and it will be one of total politics except for one glorious interlude.  The jobs report today was awful, and while the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1% that was only because of the fact that over half a million either left the job market or stopped looking for work.  The administration tried to hype the headline number but nobody was buying it and every market crashed including oil futures which fell four bucks to under $100.  Every talking head with an access to a microphone will be fighting for air time to tell us what this really means for the economy and for The Leader's re-election plans.  The consus  will be a grudging "not good" but rays of sunshine admid the clouds will be found.  In short, why listen.

Not so in Euroland, however, as the French will undoubtably choose a new president and the Greeks...well...the Greeks will choose someone or many ones leading to outbreaks of street demonstrations signifying...absolutely nothing as far as Euroland is concerned.  Everyone realizes Greece is gone and the only thing at stake is whether ther is a majority that pulls the country out right now or do we have to wait for another round of elections later in the year; I'm in the latter camp on this one.  Greeks are very good at theater and tragedies.  Ever hear the one about the Greek who offs his old man, marries his did, eh.  Sorry.

France is another matter. There's a bet going about as to how Hollande will approach the country in his victory speech:  fire and brimstone Euro leftist or the conciliator, "Let us together build a New France..." I'm in the minority but I think he will take the latter approach and well he might because markets are spooked enough as is.  For better or worse Frace is the keystone; oh Germany is the most powerful and important but if France chooses the hard socialist road it will be almost impossible to reach consensus within the union on just about anything and Fin as we always saw in the old black and whites.  The openings on Monday bear watching.  The results are already priced in but how the winner reacts is a game-changer.

Fortunately, amidst all this is a beacon of sanity shining from northwest London.  The FA Cup, Liverpool vs. Chelsea two storied clubs of English football.  It was an easy walk to Stanford Bridge from where I lived years ago but White Hart Lane was my Ground.  So, no dog in this fight but one can't help but wish that Liverpool, with all the tradition and support base not to mention the wonderful Dalglish, pacing the touch line on the pitch where he used to roam in front of the Kop, finds the route to victory.  Alas, I'm afraid it is not to be.  Chelsea, 3-1.  You'll never walk alone old sons.

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