03 September, 2012

The Draghi Put

It has a mysterious, rather sinister sound: perhaps a remote Indian shanty town, where 19th century British Soldiers were earmarked for murder in the Mutiny by a chapati being left on their doorsteps.

It is in fact an option - no perhaps just a boast - to shore up the weaker Eurozone economies with money created by the European Central Bank.

Mario Draghi is the President of the ECB and today is his 65th birthday.

I am not sure he has much to celebrate, though. First Angela Merkel put her oar in, insisting that countries in receipt of this largesse first apply to one or both of the bailout schemes (the EFSF and the ESM) and conditions will be attached to their rescue. Then last week Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank, threatened to resign if there were limitless credit on offer (it is, of course, the Germans who have to pay).

The ESM has not been fully ratified yet (the German Constitutional Court has not yet spoken) and Spain and Italy, fearful of conditions being applied to them, have not applied for help.

So right now Draghi's promise to do everything in his power to save the euro just looks like whistling in the dark

'I will do such things - what they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth!'
(King Lear)



TIM -- How valued are your reports on the European Union? In a phrase = "LET ME COUNT THE WAYS"!

** My daily home delivery of "The Financial Times" regrettably ended a few weeks ago -- as I deal with the following on interim basis:

[a] "the goes-inna" [direct Social Security monthly deposits of sub- poverty monthly checks - while the Veterans Administration continues a 4+ years delay in processing our filed benefits claims] - with

[b] "the goes-outta" [happily debt-free for the past three decades, living my biblical charge to 'live within means' - check!]; as well as

[c] 'discretionary spending' which has been limited to 'Amazon.com' book buying specials with an only occasional 'Library of America' enticement for specials on some multi-volumes by John Steinbeck, James Agee & even the very well received (even today) Alexis de Tocqueville.

** So, I shall indulge myself! ;-)

** The limited [downtown Reno, NV] availability of food programs 'for the needy' took a hit last month, when Roman Catholic [Benedictine monastics] moved their Friars Pantry to a new location, somewhat closer to a mens' shelter - making disabled veterans access even more difficult!

** "WE SHALL - indeed - OVER COME" this madness by "STAYING CALM and CARRYING ON" - per earlier advice during wartime of a wise royal, in the days! ;-)

** BYE THE BYE = Best American televised 'news coverage' of the political 'silly season' here is by 'www.PBS.org' - with some new nightly "BBC World News" - aimed at North American viewers!

** For 'gavel to gavel' Democratic Party Convention coverage -- may I recommend C-SPAN, esp. "WASHINGTON JOURNAL" which airs @ 7 a.m. [Eastern Zone] on a regular daily basis. Phone-ins start the three hours, and with three exceptional guests to follow on each telecast!

** A little noticed on-line near real time archival record only now being 'discovered' by other cable news media is "The C-SPAN VIDEO LIBRARY" -- IT IS on-line, "free of charge" & courtesy America's cable television providers [as a blessed 'public service']! -30-


TIM -- WHEN ALL THAT SHAKIN' stops with Cameron - Clegg coalition governmental ministerial re-shuffles -- Hopefully shall you have some insighful and strident observations?


WHAT ONE HELLUVA birthday bash -- No sooner did this esteemed gent celebrate a milestone, than he next defied both Germans & French by opening the kitty of ECB bonds issues at levels to make even "The Fed" blush.

** In the hang-overs from both major American political parties' National Conventions, The [US] Fed Chairman has a new high bar to meet or perhaps even exceed.

** Only time shall tell. -30-