Yes - Azerbaijan just won the Eurovision song contest. It didn't really surprise TMM on the musical front because along with Hungary and Ukraine they had a blonde female singer that of course can bang out musical ditties that make any normal Euromale grab the phone and dial her number. However TMM were a little surprised to find that far from being a principality in Italy along the lines of San Marino, Azerbaijan is actually a fully fledged Asian nation of its own a little further west than China. But not much, its western border being more easterly than that of Iran's. European expansion east really is a good idea if they are to look for new contributors to the bail out funds and you could do worse than choosing a nation sitting on that much hydrocarbon. TMM look forward to Singapore, China, Australia, India and Brazil all appearing in the next year's competition.
As for Greece's entry, its first airing had TMM exclaiming that obviously songwriting was the only profession to have felt the effects of their austerity measures. So we were fairly gobsmacked to see the votes coming pouring in for them, (did Germany gave them douze points or another 110billion Euro). TMM themselves, sitting in London, stayed impartial and didn't cast a single vote, but have wondered why they just been presented with a very large phone bill. Their Moldovan Au Pair has no explanation either.
But of course the most shocking news of the weekend is the lengths Gordon Brown will go to to secure himself the post of Chairman of the IMF. Please someone, tell us the New York chambermaid didn't have a wonky eye and a Scottish accent. For the bigger picture TMM find it hard to believe that a global rescue service as important as the IMF can really allow itself such key man risk. Strauss-Kahn's arrest may have have allowed the broadsheets to behave like tabloids but in effect he's more or less irrelevant as the executive Board makes decisions. He's the Chairman, but he doesn't vote, he just sets the agenda and In his absence Lipsky or one of the other two Deputies will do it. And of course the most important pointer to the irrelevance of his role is the fact that they would consider letting Gordon Brown have a go at it.
As for markets we stand firm on our JSTFR positioning. TMM know there is trouble brewing when real money starts throwing in the towel, something that we are seeing in the typically slow moving world of credit, particularly in Asia. High beta Chinese property has been on the move for a week now but when investment grade gets moving you know that the bedrock of dip buyers is stepping back.
Today is going to be pretty busy for TMM so we will leave you with a couple of Eurovision song's that were sadly axed from Saturday's show.
David Bowie performing a remix of "Heroes":
I,I will be King,And you,You will be Bean,Though nothing will,Drive inflation away,We can't beat it,Just for one day,We can't be Heroes,Even for one day.
And you,You can be Merkel,And I will be Greece,I'll drink all the time,'Cause we're lovers,And that is a fact,Yes we're lovers,And that is that.
Though nothing,Will keep us together,We could steal time,Just for one day,For we cant buy Euro's,For ever and ever,What d'you say,
I,I wish you could lend,Like the countries before you,Like those countries could lend,Though nothing,Will keep us together,We can't beat them,For ever and ever,Oh we just can't buy Euro's,Even for one day.
We can't buy Euros,We can't buy Euros,We can't buy Euros,Even for one day,We can't buy Euros,They're nothing,And nothing can help us,Maybe Juncker's lying,Then we'd better say,That we'd be safer,Shorting that play.
And Greece's new entry - to the tune of "Roll out the barrel":
There's a Greek garden, what a garden,Only happy faces bloom there,And there's never any room there,For a worry or a gloom there.Oh there's music and there's dancing,And a lot of sweet romancingWhen they pluck bouzoukiThey all get in the swing
Every time they hear their Papa ,Borrow more for a new car,They want to spend their cares away,Never, ever have to repayThen they hear a rumble on the floor, the floor,It's the big bailout they're waiting forEurocrats then form a ring,For miles around you'll hear them sing...
Roll out and borrow, so the default will never quite comeRoll out and borrow, now the EU's on the run.Extend and pretend, redemption is nowhere near.Now's the time to roll out and borrow, for the debts still here!