Sunday, July 5, 2015

Math, and other topics

Greece has apparently voted to reject the debt restructuring deal on the table. Soon we will know whether Greek voters called a bluff, or consigned themselves to many more years of misery.

What we do know is this: China is a lot bigger than Greece, and its stock market has been tanking for three weeks. Since the U.S. stock market has not had an even 10% correct in roughly four years, some might say that last week was the selling opportunity of the year. We shall learn a lot more in the next few days.

Regardless, we note that hard work probably counts for something. In 2013, only 39% of Greece's population had a job (the comparable figures in Germany, the United States, and China, respectively, were 57%, 58%, and 68%). When the working population falls that low, the economy becomes a sucker's game. The "39-percenters" are probably wondering how they ended up holding the bag. And the credit committees around the world that signed off on those Greek loans ought to find another line of work.

Anyway, here is an interesting analysis from Deutsche Bank that explores the alternatives from here. The choices seem bad for Greece, at least in the short term, and will probably drive that 39% number lower.

The question for those of you with some scratch to invest is this: Will Greece plus China add up to the long-awaited correction in the U.S. stock market? The answer probably depends on whether you believe the central banks will flood the zone with liquidity and the Fed will postpone its telegraphed rate increase. My prediction -- and if I was good at this I would not be part of the 58% -- is that we are in for a few rough weeks in the financial markets, a lot of turmoil in the value of the Euro in particular, and a new surge in liquidity that will ultimately lead to an even larger asset bubble, all primed to blow up in the face of the next president.

Your results may vary.

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