- Greece goes to the polls this weekend.
The final polls (from 1 June) show that no party is set to win a majority. Which was almost a foregone conclusion – political parties don’t develop majorities when the second election is happening because no one had a majority.
Almost in response to Mr Head-of-Syriza*, François Hollande said on Wednesday “If the impression is given that the Greeks want to distance themselves from their agreed commitments and abandon every prospect of recovery, there will be countries in the Eurozone that will prefer to terminate Greece’s presence”. That threat looks not-so-veiled. And this is coming from the pro-growth, anti-austerity socialist!
New Democracy (pro-bailout and currently in the lead) are framing this election as a “euro or drachma” vote. In some ways, I think this points to the fundamental flaw in the democratic process. Can anyone really say that the Greek people understand the ramifications of that decision? Education – there’s just not enough of it.
It’ll be a new world on Monday!
- Ex-Soros advisor says Japan will default by 2017.
I’ve realised over the past few months that the majority of business “news” articles are really just sayings spouted by the finance sages. If your name can be linked to a name that’s famous, then what you say is newsworthy and gets to be a headline.
So we have an ex-Soros advisor saying that Japan will probably default in the next five years. His name is Takeshi Fujimaki, and he is president of Fujimaki** Japan, an investment advising company.
By 2014, Japan’s public borrowings will sit at around 245.6% of annual economic output. At this point, according to Fujimaki, the only options for Japan are default or hyperinflation. And because the finances are so stretched, it won’t take much to force matters. A bad Greek election, for example. That might be enough.
I realise that I’m a regular announcer of hyperinflation as a prophecy of immediate doom – but I make that Japan and Greece***. And murmurs for the US.
- Merkel says that Germany will lead crisis fight.
Well yes – because the interesting part of what she’s saying isn’t really about the crisis fight. What’s interesting is her position on political union – which is that the European nations need to embrace it, and give up some national powers in the process.
- OPEC is maintaining oil output unchanged.
The limit still sits at 30 million barrels per day – even though OPEC collectively has been exceeding its limit this year (ahead of Iran sanctions, which pushed the price of oil up in early 2012).
However, the cartel no longer has individual quota limits per member, so the agreement rests upon the individual members’ willingness to play by the
rulesgeneral guidelines. And Saudi Arabia has been ignoring the guidelines somewhat.
So the pressure: it’s on.
- Microsoft in talks to buy Yammer.
No idea. Apparently – a social network for businesses. But Microsoft may pay more than $1 billion for it.
Social/Corporate/Business media: it’s the future.
That’s all for now.
Have a good day.
*Who is firmly of the opinion that Greece can reject her bailout package requirements, whilst both remaining in the euro and having access to the bailout package.
**In my cultural ignorance, I read “Fujimaki” and pictures of sushi float through my head. Random aside.
***Fujimaki for Japan, and Antonis Somaras (New Democracy’s Leader) for Greece.