Kamis, 12 April 2012

Two Slog pieces - Portugal and Greece featured.....


Banco Espirito Santo: a Portuguese bank on its last legs. And a Financial Times living on its laurels.

Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo shares plummeted by 15% after it announced plans to raise €1B in capital through a rights issue.
The offering price is set at a 66% discount to the closing price yesterday [Wednesday].
That is a very desperate bank.
But this is what the FT wrote six days ago:
‘As of Apr 06, 2012, the consensus forecast amongst 14 polled investment analysts covering Banco Espirito Santo SA advises that the company will outperform the market.’
Hmm. Another reason why I won’t be renewing my FT subscription this year. Note the pompous proclamation one gets when quoting from FT ‘analyses’:
‘High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Csand Copyright Policy for more detail.’
What a joke.


EUROBLOWN: A small clue as to why the main Greek Parties are struggling for support…and why Brussels has a BIG problem

I have from friends in Athens the latest percentage support figures for the Greek political Parties from a poll by Public Issue. These suggest that New Democracy is on 19% – a drop of 3.5% compared to the end of March; while PASOK fell 1% to 14.5 %. The poll was conducted between April 3-9th. Based on those numbers, even combined, the two big Party machines won’t win an absolute majority of seats in the Athens parliament.
As many as nine parties, ranging from the Communist Party (KKE) to the neofascist Golden Dawn, would cross the 3% threshold necessary to enter Parliament if reflected in the actual votes cast on May 6th. Or in short, the new Greek Assembly is going to be something of a dog’s dinner…with a majority against the bailout.
Now here’s some closely related news. The shareholders of the Bank of Greece are going to get a nice windfall – of 100m euros as a result of the BoG’s 2011 profits. The Bank is dependent on public support throughout the eurozone, and the Greek population has suffered traumatic cuts in wages and benefits. But a smallish number of very rich people are going to get a nice little lump sum each.
As posted earlier, mega-briber Siemens has just been appointed to a large Athenian contract under very dubious circumstances.  In the last few weeks, The Slog has reported upon the arrest of a senior pol on bribery charges, Greek bombs  aimed at Troika offices, Papademos lies and Greek suicides, how the Troika bailout deal is accelerating Greek insolvency, major Greek Parties trying to undermine the Brussels agreement for their own gain, the Greek Government stealing public bank accounts to pay off bondholders, unauthorised euro printingby the Bank of Greece,  and how the Troika bailout in the end used ECB silly-paper that is equal in worth to one year Greek bonds themselves.
So in the context of all this, why should anyone – except a wombat like Herman van Rompuy – be surprised that support for pro-EU-bailout Parties in Greece is flatlining?

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