Is Greece a prelude to nothing? What people have failed to realize the whole time this Greek issue has been rumbling, which, by the way, is now a couple of years, is that the longer it goes, the less likely it will hurt Europe and even less likelier that it will hurt us.
Here's the deal. The big issue in 2008, the always-apt comparison, was the element of surprise. I think that the idea that there is even the most remote element of surprise to a collapse of Greece is off the table and those who don't fret that it will collapse are those who are either braindead or speculators (in other words guys who deserve it.)
Why does this matter so much? Because when we look at the landscape we see how Greece has been isolated. Witness Italian 10-year bonds under 5.5% this morning. Yes, Portugal looms. But we might find that even after a Greek default life can go on IF people are in shape to handle it and being in shape just means dragging the whole exercise out so that no one is surprised. That strategy turned out to be, well, a strategy.
So we can focus on Greece all we want or we can focus on everything else but Greece and accept that if Germany rejects this new plan that was approved this weekend then Greece goes down, our markets go down and we end up with a buying opportunity.
Why is it a buying opportunity? Because we have growth in this county and growth, while not conquering all, is a tremendous insulator to worldwide shocks.
So, step by step, Greek deal vetoed by Germany, then another Greek deal attempt, another veto and collapse. Time to market is six to eight weeks. Greek deal accepted, collapse of Greece put off six months, during which U.S accelerates and China cuts.
All of this means that the vote this week could be a catalyst to buy either way, but one of them could come lower than the other.
What am I looking at? I reiterate that the banks are the thing, and now let me add Suntrust (STI) and US Bancorp (USB) to the Wells Fargo (WFC) mix. A sustained decline of JPMorgan (JPM) below $35 is mighty tempting, too.
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