Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's started ...

UPDATED 14:00 Hrs - if you feel inclined to panic, now would be a good time.

Above: the headlines from The Times and The Daily Telegraph today (online).

My morning post yesterday: European stock markets, for the moment, are paying the price ... which means individual savers, pension funds and the rest. They saw London lose 0.2 percent, Paris slid 0.7, Frankfurt 1.3 and Madrid 1.8 by mid-morning, on fears about the health of Spanish banks and the eurozone economy. The "age of rage" comes later. This is only just starting (my emphasis).

Above pic: Spain's Economy Minister Elena Salgado arrives at the Brussels Economic Forum conference today.

Meanwhile, the euro, core European bond yields and oil prices all tumbled, while stock-index futures suggested further sharp losses on Wall Street today. The three-month U.S. dollar London interbank offered rate rose to 0.53625 percent from 0.50969 on Monday, its highest level since July 2009.

"With the euro under pressure, Libor pushing higher and geopolitical tensions raised, investors have few reasons to try and call a bottom to this," said David Morrison at GFT. "For now, it's all about deleveraging and unwinding anything even remotely risky, and equities are top of the list," he added.

Says Jeremy Warner in his Telegraph blog:
Just as everyone thought the banking crisis largely over, it threatens to begin anew. The banking crisis helped prompt a sovereign debt crisis, which now threatens to re-infect the banking sector with a secondary bad debt experience. Markets are beginning to believe there is no way out. More worrying still, few if any can afford another round of bank bailouts.
There's still room for confidence to revive and the problem to go away, at least for the time being, he says. But it's not looking good, not good at all.

The only consolation - and it's a very small one - is that ... reality bites! Ain't life a bitch!