Quote of the Day:
No No No!
Margaret Thatcher – British Prime Minister (1975 – 1990)
The Iron Lady Of Europe
- Angela Merkel has resisted all comparisons with Britain’s Iron Lady of the 1980’s, Margaret Thatcher. For one thing, she stands for something different ideologically speaking – Merkel is staunchly pro-European integration. Thatcher, by comparison, made her opinions quite clear on the matter, as you see above!
- But there are striking similarities between these two political female powerhouses. Perhaps it is something that comes with being a woman who has fought tooth and nail through the ranks to the pinnacle of European politics. Merkel, like Thatcher, sticks to her guns. She sometimes initially appears quite methodic and patient at the negotiating table but when she makes her demands, she normally gets what she wants. You don’t have to agree with the policies of either Thatcher or Merkel to have a degree of admiration for their aggressive ability to get what they want done and get it done with authority.
- There is plenty of talk about “union” and “helping” or even “bailing out” other European nations, but let’s make no mistake this is nationalistic politics at its most ferocious. Merkel’s obligation is, first and foremost, to the German electorate – not the Greeks or the Portuguese or the French or the “Union”. Her actions so far have not dissuaded me from this in any way. And judging her on this alone, she is indeed an exceptional politician.
- Domestically, Merkel has quenched the anti-Europe swell while overseas she has pressed for treaty change while venting about the inflationary consequences of ECB participation – a shrewd tactic to shield intentions and lever into political negotiations. While holding the Greeks et al over an austerity barrel, she has France right where she wants it – begging at the end of a very short dog-lead. She has Britain right were she wants it – exiled, insulated and in splendid isolation. And the rest of Europe potentially chastised to an iron-fist treaty of curiously Germanic design.
- What is perhaps more poignant about The Iron Lady of Europe is what she does not do. When there is political sensitivity in Europe, she remains practically silent, allowing other political voices to vent the heat before taking a line which is true and unequivocally assertive. Which reminds me of one of Thatcher’s quotes:
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
Gold Rising On European Doubts
- Seems strange doesn’t it? We have “momentous” news out of Europe on the latest Greek bailout and Gold hits a new high? Something does not add up in Europe… I imagine it’s the Mathematics!
- Reuters reports: Gold Rises over 1 percent on Greek deal uncertainty.
- Bloomberg reports: Greek Rescue Leaves Europe Default Risk Alive.
- Wait… so all this turmoil in the markets, hundreds of billions of Euros thrown over The Med and we still cannot draw a line under the problem? Hmpft! You know the score, dear reader; like a NINJA (No Income, No Job or Assets) with a huge mortgage, Greece is insolvent, she doesn’t need a loan… she needs a fresh start.
- Europe will not move forward while the Greek people are beholden (or even feel they are beholden) to German politicians, no matter how deftly the European Elite try pull the puppet strings of the “Greek Government” and the Wool over the ordinary Greek person’s eyes. In fact I should not really call them the Greek Government I should call them “The Unelected Representatives In The Eurozone of Greek Descent” – because that’s what they are.
- Europe will not move forward while private investors feel cheated either by indirect subordination by the ECB or CDS trigger-gaming by the politicians.
- Europe will move backwards if growth in the Eurozone stalls further and Europe will move backwards faster than you can say “what’s that horrific sucking sound?” if investors begin to doubt the credibility of the ECB.
- Chart of the Day shows Gold and Greek CDS Steepness – which hit a new low (or a new INVERTED steepness) as the 2 year spiked.
Chart of the Day
Greek CDS Steepness (Source: Bloomberg)
- Eurozone Consumer Confidence in line (-20.2) … not really very good.
- France CPI
- Hong Kong GDP
- Malaysia CPI
- ChinaSteel [2002 TT], FranceTelecom [FTE FP], Genting Singapore [GENS SP], Hewlett Packard [HPQ], Wilmar [WIL SP],
- Barclays [BARC LN], Hershey [HSYUS],
- None Found