Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Mitt Romney bullied in school. Link: He apologises. Yes – the bullier. Apparently, that all changed after a Mormon missionary program with his wife in France. Bloomberg names one of the bulliees as Gary Hummel. I mention it only because the gay character on Glee is Kurt Hummel – and given the amount of bullying that character experiences, as well as the heavily Democrat flavour of the series, I immediately wondered if this was all part of the Obama master plan. 
  2. Spain seeks to avoid bailout by understating bank losses. The Spanish government has asked the Spanish banks to increase their bad debts allowances to take into account debt incurred by property developers and construction firms. But what about the home loans and commercial mortgages? The argument is: you can’t have one side of the market going sour and the other side continuing just fine. The empirical evidence just doesn’t pan out. Failing to take it into account creates a situation where Spain is underestimating the full effect of a potential default, and will therefore be less likely to have pre-empted it. I’d rather take out a bigger loan to cover the eventualities – which shows planning and forethought; than take a smaller loan and be forced to take a larger one when I’m in difficulty (because that’s when you have to approach loan sharks and/or you can’t find anyone to lend to you). Proactive, not reactive: it’s better that way. Link: The Trouble with Real Estate.
  3. Greece may hold the EU over the barrel with its $510 billion debts owed to private bondholders and the ECB. It’s the other side of the equation (that seems to be the general trend of this post) – who currently holds the Greek Debt? And who will lose if the bailout doesn’t happen? The ECB (and Europe) has a direct interest in not letting Greece default. Frankly, if the Greeks are shrewd bargainers, they could bargain harder. It’s not all them now – with each bailout, Greece becomes more and more the ECB’s problem. Link: The Greek Trump Card.
  4. Euro poll shows more than 50% expecting a euro exit. I think this goes without saying. Link: Bye bye now.
  5. Greek government mandate passes to Pasok. This too shall fail. Link: Third time lucky? Or once bitten, twice shy, third ridiculous.
  6. US House votes to cut food stamps over defense. It’s all about priorities. Lose weight, look great, fight back. Link: The Defense Diet.
  7. Obama says rule rollbacks will result in $6 billion in savings. These are savings on Street Signs. This is a $6 billion saving over five years. So Americans will be more lost. And the government will save 11 hours worth of their time. Link: What this country lacks is direction.
That’s all for now!
Have a good day.