Note: This is a Not-so-Black Friday extra post. Scroll down for last night's and come back later for this evening's.
AN ECONOMICS-POLITICS SPECIAL
I rather like today's El Mundo headline on yesterday’s events – A decaffeinated suspension of payments for Greece.
It's far too soon to know for sure, of course, but here's my first stab at the winners and losers from last night's developments:-
- The banks. Hence the soaring shares.
- Shareholders, especially those with bank shares. Ditto.
- Mrs Merkel. Largely got her way.
- The German government. Now well on the road to financial hegemony of Europe. At the third attempt, say some wags.
- Greece. Got at least some relief. Though it probably won't be enough.
- Sarkozy. The hyperactive dwarf has probably managed to convince Frances' electorate that it was him wot done it.
- The EU government, whoever that really is. A nascent EMF formed and a big step taken towards real financial and political union. At least among 17 members. Assuming there aren't too many devils in the details and all the states ratify the deal.
- Italy, Spain, Belgium, etc. Will now get some relief in the bond markets. At least near-term.
- Europe's political leaders. They can now go on their long summer holidays while their countries close down, with relief.
- Some banks. May have to suffer a relatively small write-off of their loans.
- Some bank shareholders. Will feel the effect of these write-offs.
- Mrs Merkel. Now has to face her electorate and the German courts
- Greece. Has to sell the family silver and inflict even more pain on her people.
- Sarkozy. Despite his ridiculous triumphalism, he didn't get the tax on banks he demanded.
- The EU government. A two-speed europe now looks inevitable.
- Italy, Spain, Belgium, etc. They won't be given the same deal as Greece, should things turn pear-shaped where they are. If you believe the announcements.
- The taxpayers of at least 17 states, who are going to have to finance the EMF. There are fewer of these in Greece, Italy and Spain than there are in, say, Holland and Germany. So the pain will not be commensurate with any gain. But who cares? Certainly not Brussels. Nor the mal-informed electorates I suspect.
- The European Central Bank. Had its concerns ignored. Poor M. Trichet.
So, there you have it. The clear Winners and Losers. I leave it to you (and to Time) to work out where the net balance lies.
As you know, Sr Camps has gone, insisting that “I have resigned for the good of the party, despite the fact that as of now I am completely innocent”. This, of course, is merely because he hasn't had a trial yet. A technicality, in other words.
This trial will be later this year – unless the Spanish judicial system is completely frozen stiff by then.
Meanwhile, with that bare-faced cheek which one perhaps only sees in Spanish (and Italian?) politics, the PP is drawing a comparison between their 'innocent' Sr Camps and the 'guilty' Sr Rubalcaba of the PSOE party, who's alleged by them to be complicit in some ETA deal of years ago. Along the lines of “If an innocent[!] man resigns, then a guilty man should swallow the same medicine.”
If it wasn't so serious, it'd be hilarious. As has been said before, Spanish politicians don't so much as use soundbites but downright lies. Which doesn't say much for their view of the voters.
More tonight perhaps, when I've read other people's views of developments.