Monday, June 11, 2012

EU opens Pandora's box & Greek vote decided?

I know.  I wanted to get your attention with some sensationalism!  :-)

But really, the terms (or rather non-terms) that the EU has given to Spain for the up to 100 billion Euros it might need to recapitalize its banks makes the Greek election a "slam dunk" for Tsipras's SYRIZA anti-austerity party.

At this point, since the bailout has been specifically targeted to Spanish banks there has been no conditionality attached to the money.  But this is very unlike what happened in Greece, Portugal and Ireland where severe austerity was the condition for these countries once they accepted a bailout.

And this is the fundamental argument that has garnered so much support for Tsipras's anti austerity party in Greece.  Tsipras is running his whole campaign on the premise that a Greek exit from the EMU would be so catastrophic that the rest of the EU could not weather the repercussions and so will relent on their rabid austerity demands on Greece. 

And what's happened in Spain proves his point.  In effect, the EU has recognized that Spain is "too big to fail" and so has relaxed some of their conditions for new financing.  So why shouldn't Greece, or Portugal or Ireland demand the same?  At least to me, if I were a Greek voter, tired of being under Berlin's austerity thumb, I'd take a chance that Tsipras premise is right and vote for him.

In the meantime, stocks had an ugly day where after an initial pop at the open bleeding accelerated right into the close.  Here's a 60 minute chart of IWM, the Russell 2000 that reflects what I'm saying:

(click on chart for larger image)

This is not a good start to the week.  Look for more downside ...