Sunday, 17 June 2012

Greek election updates

RESULTS: New Democracy - 29.66% - 129 seats , Syriza - 26.89% - 71 seats, Pasok - 12.28% - 33 seats, Indep. Greeks - 7.51% - 20 seats, Golden Dawn - 6.92% - 18 seats, Dimar - 6.26% - 17 seats, KKE - 4.50% - 12 seats. New Democracy will now most likely form a majority with the centre-left party PASOK.

In Greece, cash is king

With the Greek elections between the pro-EU New Democracy party and the anti-bailout party Syriza under way, one can`t stop and think about the critical importance of today`s events. The future of the European Union may well rest on the ballets in this small Mediterranean country that accounts for only 2% of the EU combined GDP. No matter the outcome, Greek households and corporations have switched to cash, stuffing the mattresses with euro bills, just in case the economy reverts to the drachma. Greece has become in the last months a cash economy.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

$125 billion bailout for the Spanish banking sector

After Ireland, Portugal and Greece, the financial contagion has finally spread to Spain, as the Southern-European country asked on Sunday for a bailout worth as much as $125 billion dollars. The money will most likely come from the European Financial Stability Facility and the yet-to-be ratified European Stability Mechanism and are supposed to go towards the recapitalization of Spanish liquidity stripped banks. If the EU does not start taking bolder steps towards more integration Italy may go next.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Markets dissapointed as FED`s Bernanke hints no QE3

Just as expected, no new news came out from Chairman Bernanke today, as he delivered his testimony to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. He instead focused on reassuring financial markets that FED is ready to act in case of an European financial meltdown and plead against fiscal tightening. As an immediate result, gold plunged by $40 to $1592, and the S&P went down to $1321. Markets need their daily dose of stimulus talk Bernanke!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Greece has to stay in!

The Greek may not be the hardest-working fellows in Europe, as they like to think of themselves as, they may not be the tax-loving people that Christine Lagarde wants them to be, they may have one of the biggest average salaries in the European Union, but these are not good enough economic arguments to allow for their eviction from the EU. It is not about Greece anymore, Greece is a symptom of a bigger problem: should the European Union push for more integration ?

Friday, 1 June 2012

The curious case of the Canadian penny

The inflation squid finally took its toll on the Canadian one penny coin. Due to increasing metal prices the cost of minting and distributing the coin reached 1.6 cents and the Central Bank of Canada decided in May to discontinue its production. Its purchasing power dropped by a staggering 96% since the coin was first introduced in 1908. The Central Bank of Canada reckons that the move will save $11 million a year, while Bloomberg estimates that banks will save $20 million per year from not having to deal with small change. Not worth a penny ?