Monday, February 09, 2015

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 02/09/15

History's infrequent inflection points bring the breakdown of ancien regimes.  They also bring sarcasm.

Greek PM Tsipras once again threw an anti-austerity brick at the EU.  He even upped the ante by demanding WWII reparations from Germany.  The conventional wisdom is that a eurozone breakup is impossible.  It's obvious to me that the new Greek government is buying time to put a post-euro contingency into place if they can't extort another bailout from Brussels.  Angela Merkel must be getting tired of this charade.  Credit ratings agencies are already sick of it, with Standard and Poor's downgrading Greece.

Japan's weakening current account surplus is bad news for Abenomics.  They'll have to sell a lot more sushi and Kobe beef to make up for these numbers.  Trashing the yen with monetary stimulus was supposed to boost exports, not reduce them.  Japan's two-decade experiment with economic retardation shows no sign of ending.  Economic stagnation is a gift to long-dormant militarists who are now beginning their push to re-arm Japan.  I expect them to hire one of the more frightening Pokemon characters as a cheap scare tactic until they can afford serious weaponry upgrades.

Gallup told the truth about how the USDOL miscounts unemployment statistics.  At least one CEO in America is willing to speak out; too bad he backtracked later on TV.  Labor statisticians know the real numbers but their political appointee bosses won't allow them to speak out.  Ordinary Americans suspect the numbers are false but don't mind as long as they can collect unemployment benefits.  Lying goes a long way in this country for liars who can throw money around.

The three narratives above reflect ancien regimes that subscribe to "extend and pretend" debt rollover fantasies.  The crackups needed to bring them all back to reality will be harsh but necessary.  Bring on the great unwinding.