Cloak and Dagger in Europe

 | Oct 26, 2011 | 9:07 AM EDT
  • Comment
  • Print Print
  • Print

The Europe situation is looking as fluid as you'd expect from a huge international bureaucracy imposing a last-minute deadline on itself for a deal that could save the global economy.

No politician has jumped up from a conference table and run out the door shouting "I got the fear!" but we live in hope.

Currently we're waiting on the German parliament to vote on the EFSF leveraging and a backing of Angela Merkel, which is expected to pass. While Germany won't be adding to its guarantee-contribution to the facility, Merkel is still bringing out the war rhetoric (and a nod to Harry Lime):

"What is good for Europe is good for Germany ... Another half century of peace and prosperity in Europe is not to be taken for granted. If the euro fails, Europe fails."

In Italy, it's more cloak and dagger than outright combat. Silvio Berlusconi is fighting to save his coalition government, again. There are reports that he's made a "secret pact" to step down in January for new government elections and reports that he planned to do that anyway.

What we do know is that he has made a deal to raise the pension age in Italy to 67 – by 2026. That's pretty long term. Of course, in the long run we'll all be dead, but in I bet in 15 years Berlusconi is planning to be on a private island. That's as much of the image as I'm allowing myself.

That leaves Greece and the problem of how much of a sovereign debt writedown will be agreed. The bureaucrats want a 60% haircut, the bankers want 40% and it has yet to be decided. Indications are that a 50% compromise is in the works. There is one report that says it's a done deal, but also that it's "voluntary," which is frankly just baffling.

 Fasten your seatbelts, as Bette Davis said.

Columnist Conversations

volatility is quite low here, and we could see some downsides here in the short term. ...
View Chart »  View in New Window »
this chart is showing great bullish signs here, we like this to take out the old high shortly. ...



News Breaks

Powered by


Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.