Monday, November 15, 2010
As we enter the new week with recent trends having stalled or reversed, the news-wires are fully lit up with commentary about whether or not Ireland will restructure/trigger the EFSF or not ("Oh yes they will!"..."Oh no they won't!"). All the while, the Eurozone debt problems bubble below the surface ("It's behind you!"). TMM cannot help but get the feeling that the situation in Europe has become even more ridiculous than a Pantomime, and in fact can only be described as a Farce. Over the years, TMM have noticed that when in trouble, CEOs (and Finance Ministers) upon realising just how bad the situation is, but still in something of a form of "denial", often take to "fiddling around the edges" in attempting to solve their problems. In Greece, there was the "Tarpaulin Tax" on swimming pools and the Irish have just come up with the idea of reviewing the tax on online betting. We bet that won't help very much.
TMM has also noticed that many financial participants are having problems understanding the new European alphabet soup, so armed with our trusty Eurodictionary, we'll attempt to translate:
SDRM (Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism): A brand of barbers particularly popular in Latin America about 10 years ago. As fashions changed over the years, this hairdressing label has struggled. But recently branches have been spotted opening in Dublin, Athens, Lisbon and Madrid, offering "A free Number Two for new customers". Goldman Sachs reported to be preparing a road show for an IPO.
EFSF (Eu Fequin' Serious, Fergal?! How Much?!): Repair bill for the EDP (European Pandora's Box, formerly European Partnership for Democracy). To be paid by German taxpayer as punishment for opening said box and discovering that the Greeks had run off with all the money.
IPN (Irish Promissory Note): Magic currency with the face of a Leprechaun on it, backed by the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Also popular in California, backed by Toyota Priuses.
SMP (Stop My Pain): Tap on shoulder from management: "Hit the bid on those bonds now".
LCH (London Clearing House): Evil Anglo-Saxon attempt to break the Euro Govvie market by whacking large haircuts (free from SDRM, see above) on iPIGS bonds.
MRO (Money Replacement Operation): ECB open market operation in which newly printed money is exchanged for IPNs (see above) and other bits of paper originating from Club Med. See also: "Quantitative Easing".
EBRD (European Bank for Reconstructing the Deutschmark): Secretive operation run by Darth Weber of the Bundeathstar with the aim of reintroducing the Deutschmark and the Mediterranean coast as a German tourist destination rather than a financial black hole.
And now, a message on how not to trade Foreign Exchange that has been doing the rounds this morning that tickled TMM's funny bone. We would like to give credit where due, so if anyone knows the creator, please let us know: