Good morning

The news:

  1. The Greek Bailout package has been withheld until the new austerity measures are voted into law. That’s really the full story. At least the EC & Co have realised that promises aren’t the same as legislation. Politicians are politicians, after all. Asian stocks are falling – and the journalists say that the fall is on fears that a Greek bailout won’t happen. Frankly – I always find the chain of causality a bit suspect. But there we are. Link: Greece Rebuffed. (On a side note – I really don’t think that Greece leaving the Euro is a close reality, whatever the journalist writes – see yesterday’s post here).
  2. Now that the US mortgage deal has concluded, we should all expect an increase in the number of foreclosures. This is why I want to work for a bank – they win on the way in and they win on the way out. The cliche should be “Cher, cockroaches, and banks. After all, banks also never really meant to hurt us; and they didn’t wanna see us go; and they know they made us cry – but baby, they’d like to turn back time – and buy more Greek CDSs. Link: Foreclosure deal to spur seizures.
  3. While we’re on the point, the investment banks are scrambling to buy up mortgage loans assumed by the Fed in the AIG rescue. See comments in 2 above. Link: Goldman Sachs retains mortgage bonds bought from the Fed.
  4. And on the flipside – it is being pointed out that the Mortgage Deal is prejudiced toward to risk-takers that bought their property with almost no money-down and/or took mortgages greater than the value of the house. The conservative guys that made sure that they could pay off what they entered into will not receive any benefits under the deal. In fact – they can only lose when the market floods with houses seized in foreclosures. Link: “Mortgage Deal from Hell”.
  5. Noted economists Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs are throwing insults at each other over US Federal Policy. Krugman is a big fan of fiscal stimulus, Sachs is a leading authority on hyperinflation in the Latin Americas. I’m not sure why this is a Bloomberg headline – but I’m a Jeffrey Sachs fan, so I’m not complaining. Also: academic slurs are always entertaining. Link: Sachs says Krugman is crude.
  6. Possibly one of my favourite articles of the week: Buffet says stocks over bonds and gold. And then asks the question: what are you going to do with the gold? Melt it down and look at it. I should amend my gold post to include this point. Link: Buffett says bonds are dangerous. And here is the link to the shareholder letter where the article came from: Buffett’s Letter to Shareholders.
  7. Google is planning to start Google stores. Link: Google is planning to start Google stores.
  8. The African business news in brief has already been done for me. Giant shout-out to ABN: ABN Business Briefs
Have a great weekend all!
And a good Friday.