Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Global Bounce-Back After Uneventful Weekend

Worldwide, market participants must have been conjuring up images of a rally over the long US holiday weekend, because stocks roared back with a vengeance on Tuesday, bringing hopes of a sensible solution to the Greek and pan-European miasma to a new level of unreality. Come June 17, Greek voters will once again go to the polls to elect some form of workable government, which can then form a majority and a consensus on whether to leave the Euro or stay with the abject horrors of austerity which bailout upon bailout imposes.

Status quo politicos are hoping that the Greek citizenry will come to see things as do the uber-governors of the European Union and opt to remain a part of the crumbling structure that has been in control for the past decade.

On the ground, not only in Greece, but in Italy and Spain as well, fear of rioting and widespread anarchy are swelling. Ordinary citizens are being berated with burdensome taxation, cuts to government programs and draconian measures implemented by overreaching, broken, debt riddled governments which will have to go back to the ECB and IMF for more money to keep the citizenry quieted.

The problem with the Euro system is that all countries are not created equal, as the currency masters would like to believe. Since the member states of the EU still have their own governments and constitutions, there are many vague differences that eventually will cause the euro currency experiment to fail, over and over again, until, as happens in Europe with great regularity, the agreements are scrapped, the currency debased and the counties continue to go about business as best suits themselves, as it should be.

After Greece votes on June 17, there will be a few days of disruption while the newly-elected parties sort out their differences and make a decision that will affect not only Greece, but all of the nations of the Eurozone. While staying a part of the EU may provide some short-term stability in Greece, we have already witnessed the effects of austerity that hasn't really worked, though a conclusion that separates Greece from the union will result in more widespread immediate pain and suffering for all of the EU nations, particularly Germany, which has actually benefitted from the weaker Euro and transfers of wealth from the south to the northern states.

In the meantime, stocks will bounce around on the news or rumors of the day, because, in reality, nobody is sure what a breakup of the Euro would entail, though the most knowledgeable people seem to agree that the immediate effects would be overwhelming to the entire global financial structure.

That's not to say that long-term it might just be better to scrap the Euro, go back to individual currencies with all of their own inefficiencies and idiosyncratic behaviors, send the banking system into a tailspin, pick up the chips where they fall and start over. At least then, the great and small countries of Europe will retain their own identities and sovereignties and another layer of useless politicians - those being the clueless EU ministers and all of their meaningless meetings, conferences and white papers - can be swept away in the process of history.

Dow 12,580.69, +125.86 (1.01%)
NASDAQ 2,870.99, +33.46 (1.18%)
S&P 500 1,332.42, +14.60 (1.11%)
NYSE Composite 7,614.78, +80.46 (1.07%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,562,855,750
NYSE Volume 3,314,985,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4187-1414
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 88-75
WTI crude oil: 90.76, -0.10
Gold: 1,548.70, -20.20
Silver: 27.79, -0.60

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