Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Greece is saved!
The European Union and International Monetary Fund are allegedly ponying up $146 billion in order to bail out the cash-strapped nation.
Greek residents, who normally celebrate by breaking a few plates, took to the streets and broke a few windows, threw a few Molotov cocktails, and overturned a few police cars. You'd think $146 billion would buy a little more gratitude.
What's all the fuss about?
Well, it seems that some of the conditions of the loan will inflict inhumane and unconscionable suffering. For example, Greek public sector employees will only get paid for 52 weeks worth of work each year instead of 54. They'll have to wait a few years past the age of 53 before retiring on a government pension. And the guaranteed annual wage increases won't be guaranteed anymore.
"We were promised all of these things," said one dark-hooded protestor, "and now they're breaking the promises."
Of course, those of us on this side of the pond scoff at such silly talk. After all, how can anyone believe that such promises would be kept – especially if they're made without any real provisions for paying for them? "The protestors have no right to be angry," we think to ourselves, as we sit in our house with government-subsidized mortgages, taking our cheap prescription drugs, and looking forward to a lifetime of free health care.
The dollar has been rallying in response to the Greek tragedy. That makes sense. After all, there's a real possibility the European Union might break apart one country at a time as the dominos start to fall. Folks are cashing out their euros and putting the money into the world's reserve currency – the U.S. dollar.
But gold, which typically trades opposite to the dollar, is rallying, too. Take a look at its action over the past 10 trading days...
The dollar is up in response to a weak euro. But gold is up even more despite the dollar's strength.
This is strange action.
The most plausible explanation is that traders are showing confidence in the dollar, which will benefit from a lack of an alternative currency. And they're showing more confidence in gold because of the need to print so many more dollars to keep up with all the promises made.
It's starting to get interesting, folks. If you don't own any gold yet, do yourself a favor and buy some on any dips.
Best regards and good trading,
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Walt Disney makes fresh highs... entertainment behemoth up 4% in two weeks.