Thursday, September 27, 2012

European Turmoil Gets Entertaining

I can find amusement in just about anything, especially financial follies.  Europe's move to curb high-speed trading comes after years of allowing a few dozen hedge funds to magnify market volatility.  I'm glad I won't be anywhere near European stocks when that music stops.  

Spain is about to go all-in on austerity on direct orders from Angela Merkel, probably risking civil disorder on a scale that will tempt Catalans to secede and right-wingers to call for a counter-revolution in the name of forced national unity.  I'm glad I won't be traveling to Spain in 2012 or 2013, no matter how many euros my dollar will buy.  

Europe's creditor nations threw the proposed bank bailout agreement into a tailspin again, proving that the ministers who actually have to fund the bailout are far more reticent than the national politicians who endorse bailouts for the purposes of pumping markets.  I'm glad I don't have money deposited in European banks.  

S&P is gently reminding us that European corporate defaults on debt payments just might possibly be higher because of all the problems people are having paying their bills and getting along with each other over there.  I'm glad I don't own any European corporate bonds.  

One amusing thing in all of this bad news is that the U.S. isn't doing any better.  Our GDP in Q2 was much lower than what we were told at the time.  That's not enough to keep pace with population growth so of course median income will keep declining; watch for the fake numbers on that score which will be revised downward themselves when you're not looking.  

This is only news to people who think we live in a magical candy-land where life gets better just because we elect leaders who say it will.  People fall for that every time.  That's what's really so amusing here.