Monday, February 16, 2015

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 02/16/15

Stock markets march on despite Europe's woes, and Americans roll over on Presidents' Day.  Sarcasm has a role to play amid such madness.

Japan says its recession has ended.  I do not believe that for a New York minute, or a Tokyo minute if you prefer.  Japan's official economic statistics are about as reliable as the politically gamed stats from US agencies.  Revisions in the next quarter can invalidate Japan's claim to be out of the woods.  US statistical revisions do that all the time to our own country's economic numbers.

The European Union is finally moving towards a capital markets union.  They should have done this years ago when Greece and other weak economies gained admittance to the eurozone.  Now it's too late.  The zone's likely shrinkage means the benefits of a future capital markets union will be confined to the strong economies that remain in the euro after the weaklings are kicked out.  Germany and its northern friends can handle this by themselves.

Greek PM Tsipras promises his country will be completely different in six months.  LOL!  His citizens have no idea what's coming.  Recent polling shows they really believe they can both stay in the euro and get a better debt deal from Europe.  America no longer has the lock on low-information voters now that ordinary Greeks have weighed in.  Here's the hard slap of reality.  The Greek finance minister stunned today's Eurogroup meeting by flatly rejecting their negotiating position in record time.  Europe can now either take the Greek red lines seriously and open the ECB's quantitative easing floodgates, or give Greece the boot.  Greece will then be different, alright, and a lot sooner than six months from now.

I will make one more comment about today's national holiday.  Presidents' Day used to be two different holidays celebrating the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  It went from two days to one day for some gawd-awful reason.  IMHO it should not be a national holiday because most Americans can't pick either of those two gentleman out of a lineup.  Americans have too many days off anyway.  National holidays just encourage laziness.  Get back to work.