Monday, February 25, 2013


I was awake early and called Massimo.  He was at lunch which is sacred.

"I am at lunch."

"Buon appetito.  Over here things look good.  Futures are up, the..."


"No what?  What do you mean, no?"

"No, things are no good.  I call you...after lunch."

So I waited and there was near-euphoria among the talking heads with Cramer proclaiming a market that simply refused to go down, the Dow way up at the opening as early reports were showing that the Bersani faction was in the lead.  Then Massimo  called.

"Ha!  your Bond yields are way down, our markets are way up.  Where's the problem?"

"Charlie, quest'est Italia.  Nothing is ever settled.  This has more to go and from what I hear it is no good.  And this is Berlusconi, capice?  You never count him out, not when he come this far.  You watch."   And with that he hung up.

It wasn't a half hour later that reports began to surface that maybe this wasn't a sure thing at all and Berluconi was pulling even.  By the close it appears that Berlusconi gathered the most votes for the Senate and was second in the voting for the lower house.  Beppe the comedian was in third place with an astounding 25% of the vote and the party representing Mario Monti was crushed poling less than 10%.  The market that Cramer had proclaimed simply refused to go down closed off 209 points     and Bond yields scampered skyward.  So much for predictions.

A couple of things happened.  Firstly, the Italians totally rejected the austerity plan implemented by Monti at the behest of the rest of Euroland and probably the industrial and labor reforms associated with it.  Secondly, by splitting their vote so broadly they have guaranteed a coalition government, beginning with Berlusconi and Bersani, but with Beppe the kingmaker whose support could, depending on the final tally, propel either one of the two into a majority, government-forming position.  Problem is ol' Beppe is for nothing and against everything.  Any coalition government involving his mob has no chance of lasting, no chance at all.  And Monti, the best chance for Italy is toast.

The rest of the Euros are probably in shock.  They, like Cramer don't understand Italy and probably never will.  Hell, the Italians don't understand their own country.  Italians live by the moment and by the emotion of the moment.  What this vote meant for the future of Italy?  Who the hell cared, the future will be the future but right now we don't like what we have and this is our way to express that view.  Now you know, now we try again.  You gotta love 'em but as Massimo said, "this is no good."  More tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. As Alfred says in the Dark Knight "some men just want to watch the world burn"