Friday, May 07, 2010

The complex European situation remains just that.....

A few notes on things that are happening today…..
+ The British election results are unclear. In reviewing the numbers and the positions of the parties, it is really hard to see which of the two options – a Conservative government with support from Liberals and/or other parties or a Labor government with support from the same – will emerge. Neither will provide the strength of government that many had hoped might emerge, and the uncertainty could last for a while, unless the Queen decides she’s had enough of this (which is HIGHLY unlikely)!
+ There is great “scurrying about” among world financial leaders that may leave people expecting more than they possibly can deliver.
+ Spain is sending quite mixed signals today with huge concern over debt and unemployment alongside of the announcement that they have emerged from recession. It seems to me that the psychology of all this could either make that bad or good news.
+ This FT story sums up much of the activity and underlines the continued grave concerns.
+ The problem with all of these European numbers is that a lot of people have to agree in order for the market to go up, or here, to go down. It’s the sentiment that worries me and seeing lots of rumors flying about is not helping that sentiment at all. Whether it is certifiably “contagious” or not really is not the point; what is clear is that tremendous instability has been introduced into these and other markets. What I keep saying is that I don’t see the person or the institution capable of taking the kind of European or global action that our President (through Treasury or any other means at his disposal) and our Federal Reserve would be empowered and able to do if the situation merited it, as it seems to me it does in Europe right now.
“Markets Alertfrom The Wall Street Journal
European stock markets ended their worst week in 18 months, part of a global selloff amid fears that Greece's financial problems are spreading.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index ended down 3.9% at 237.19, bringing losses for the week to 8.7%. That’s the largest weekly percentage drop for the index since the week ended Nov. 21, 2008, when it fell 11.5%.
The U.K. FTSE 100 lost 2.6% Friday to 5123.02, while the French CAC-40 fell 4.6% to 3392.59 and the German DAX declined 3.3% to 5715.09.”

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