Just a few brief thoughts this morning. This morning was filled with market moving news. Of course, the concerns in Greece continue. As I’ve maintained since the start of this there is no happy ending for Europe (not everyone agrees). The truth of the matter is that their government’s are a fiscal mess and the EU is setting a very dangerous precedent by rescuing each one. We continue to live in a world that rewards the losers and steals from the winners. Prudence does not pay off. The destructive aspects of this have been occurring on a much larger scale for over a decade. We live in a world where too many people live beyond their means, produce little of real use and expect a government to help them at every twist and turn. It’s a very dangerous path we’re on.
In other European news, GDP stalled across the land as the EU27 GDP rose by just 0.1%. Germany’s GDP was flat while Latvia saw the biggest declines at -3.2%. The Euro is and will continue to be the worst house in a bad neighborhood. The dollar is likely to remain the beneficiary of all this.
In other global news China raised their bank reserve requirement. This nation of fiscally prudent spenders is now so red hot that they can’t even control their own economy. And here we are in the United States promoting reckless spending and more fiscal imprudence. The logic behind our own thinking is staggeringly silly.
On a brighter note, retail sales were fairly strong at 0.5%. Unfortunately, the sustainability of the gains are still in question as consumer sentiment came in below expectations.
All in all, there is little to justify the risk trade in the near-term. The reflation trade has become the implosion trade thanks to the Euro. With Euro concerns likely to be front and center in the coming weeks it remains difficult to envision an environment where risk assets move substantially higher from these still relatively high levels – recall, we’re just 7% off the highs following a 73% rally.