Thursday, October 27, 2011

Magicians & Drachma & Bluffers, oh my!

The magicians on Wall Street celebrated with a furious stock market rally today. Their jubilation grew from their newfound hopes of fooling the American people into once again thinking there's an end in sight to our Great Recession.

"Markets up after Greece deal." and "Greece Worries Ebbs" causing investors to "give a thumbs up" and ask Siri to dump more imaginary money into the still-over-inflated Dow Jones. Gaining nearly 3% in a single day.

The world markets are playing a game of three card monte and Greece's unplumbed cauldron of debt is the pea they're trying frantically to conceal.  European and American vaults are morbidly obese with Greek bonds. About $3,000,000,000,000 (that's trillions!) worth of toxic, unsecured Drachma. Stinking up the place like rancid moussaka. Greece is a drunken albatross dangling from Europe's neck. Nobody wants it. Nobody can save it. But they're too scared to let it slip into the Aegean Sea. So instead of cutting off the Euro's dead limbs, the magicians are trying to convince us that debt can revolve forever. But the other members of the Euro currency union (with the exception of Germany) cannot pay what they owe. And, like their big fat cousins,  they teeter only a single Facebook update away from mob violence, political revolution, and perhaps even armed conflict fueled by cheap French cigarettes and little cups of seemingly-endless cappuccino.

Not to be outdone, politicians have taken to bluffing at the poker table while wagering the economy of an entire nation. The Republicans did it this past summer, bluffing during the tax talks, pushing the United States to the edge of financial default (with the rest of the world to follow) over whether or not to repeal the Bush tax cuts. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (their version of a President) did it today. She looked across the table and told the bankers to either accept a 50% write down of Greece's debt, or be prepared for the country's total financial collapse.

Hours later, Wall Street opens, the magicians conjure their best illusions, and suckers around the globe invest billions more in a failing system.

Oh my.

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