Art Cashin's Take On Europe's Fiasco

Tyler Durden's picture

Art Cashin, the skeptical floor veteran, and always practical and easy-spoken observer of market moves and developments, shares his latest set of views on the happenings in Europe. Granted this is backward looking, as things in Europe change from one total mess to another in minutes, but still a good summary for new entrants into the utter chaos that is a EUR-driven market with 1.000 correlation to the European currency.

Political Posturing And Postponing On Two Continents - Tank Stocks - The European crisis appeared to spread to Italy as bond yields and CDS spreads virtually exploded. While Italian paper and Italian banks came under severe pressure, their problems may be as much related to politics as it is to any problems of liquidity or solvency.

There are concerns that the Italian government may be becoming more dysfunctional than normal just as a financial crisis threatens A key problem seems to be an increasingly acrimonious relationship between Premier Berlusconi and Finance Minister, Giulio Tremonti. Berlusconi recently said of Tremonti - “He’s not a team player, and thinks he’s a genius and that everybody else is a cretin”.

Tremonti is under severe press attacks for being the house guest of a close ally who was recently arrested on corruption charges.
Tremonti seems to think he’s too important to fail. He’s quoted as saying, “If I fall, then Italy falls. If Italy falls, then so falls the Euro. It is a chain”. Not very calming to markets.

The Italian mess and more political grandstanding in Washington had stocks open sharply lower and stay there all day. They never got to one knee for the mandatory eight count. The only saving grace in the carnage was that the S&P held exactly at its 50 day moving average (DMA).

Playing For Time In Europe - Watching the Kabuki dance staged by European leaders as the sovereign debt crisis turns worse daily, I am reminded of an anecdote about a disciple of the philosopher Heraclitus. Here’s my version of the anecdote from December 2002:

Let me try to walk through the concept another way. It concerns a fable about a disciple of Heraclitus.

Heraclitus, as you recall from sixth grade, was a Greek philosopher in the fifth or sixth century B.C. (okay, so my memory is a touch inexact). Heraclitus in his own way was the father of chaos theory. He said you could never step in the same river twice, since the water you first stepped in was swept away and the next step was into new and different water. He likened reality to a flame. It looks the same in form but is ever changing.

Anyway, this disciple of Heraclitus (whose name I've forgotten) was condemned to death for his teachings. He begged for his life and promised that if death were postponed, he would teach the king's horse how to fly within a year.

The king, naturally fascinated, complied.

A friend of the prisoner admonished him for conduct unbecoming of a philosopher. Why postpone the inevitable? Die with grace.

The ex-prisoner replied that before there was but one possibility. He would be executed. Now there were four possibilities. Within the year - the king could die - I could die - the horse could die.....or I could teach the damn horse to fly.

Like the disciple of Heraclitus, leadership in Euroland cannot find a solution and appears to be trying only to buy time and hoping horses learn to fly.

h/t London Dude Trader

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Sudden Debt's picture

First it's euro bashing time

Then It's US bashing time

Now it's euro bashing time again

All in 1 trading session. It's been fun today :)


camaro68ss's picture

Race to the bottom BITCHEZ!

prophet's picture

Well, now meet me in the bottom,

Bring me my runnin shoes.

Well, now meet me in the bottom,

Bring me my runnin shoes.

When I jump out the window,

I won't have time to loose.

When you see me streakin by,

Please, don't be late.

When you see me streakin by,

Please, don't be late.

Well, when you see me movin,

You know my life is at stake.

Well, I hope you see me,

I come streakin by.

Well, I hope you'll see me when,

I come streakin by.

She got a bad old man,

You know, I'm too young to die.

Boy, I got to leave here.

Fore I get caught in there.


Howlin' Wolf - Meet Me In The Bottom

That tune is one of my all time favorite rifs.

Translational Lift's picture

Nope.....Their trying to get PIIGS to fly  ;>)

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

Dude, it's bad enough I got to take a math test to post. Now I have to watch my spelling and grammar?

au_bayitch's picture

Pigs will fly before the banksters are done sucking the life from the working class dogs.

4xCompass's picture

Brilliant! back to the bottle Art.

kito's picture


cougar_w's picture

Sounds like a riff on the "running away from a bear" idea.

You don't have to be faster than the bear to get away from  a bear, you only have to be faster than one other person who is also running from the bear.

francis_sawyer's picture

Well that solves the question...

Art Cashin... Alive or dead?... Answer: still alive...

Now... about Bin laden




williambanzai7's picture

In Europe horses do fly all the time, to Finance Minister meetings.

Sudden Debt's picture

A unicorn isn't just a horse.

so you know...

Use of Weapons's picture

...and unicorns don't have wings.


so you know...


[You were aiming for Pegasos, but got way-laid by a gay underground scene meme; better due diligence!]


Sudden Debt's picture


Use of Weapons's picture

A lifetime is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to a child.



Night Dad!

thatthingcanfly's picture

Nice to see there's another Iian Banks fan on ZH.

Crisismode's picture

Actually, it's just the Horses Asses that fly to the meetings.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

There's a long tradition of Horse discourse in European poltical circles.


Dr. Engali's picture

Art's a genius. One of the few who ever makes any sense.

msnrochny's picture

Teach Horses to fly, and we have a fun story.  Teach Sheep to fly, and we'll have a revolution.

goldnguns's picture

The only real solution is stock the wine cellar, add a couple cases of Bambay gin, and tell the wife "honey, the trip to Italy is cancelled due to cross spectrum non-functionality and utter raving lunacy". Glad I didn't buy that little Tuscan villa in Pieve Santo a few years back.

Crisismode's picture

You'll be able to pick it up for a few pieces of gold in a few years time.

Gold Man-Sacks's picture

I haven't seen this guy, or Alan Valdez, on CNBC in months.  I guess they weren't day-trader, cowboysish enough.

CompassionateFascist's picture

Zero sez "no soc sec chex unless I get another 2.5 trillion in credit". Getting better by the minute.

Oquities's picture

as a young broker in the 80s i admired elder statesmen of the brokerage industry at the local level in Detroit.  i salute Mr Cashin as one of their kind,an anachronistic delight, the "customer's man," the wise guide.  Mr Cashin, if you go away tomorrow, know that i have appreciated you for years!

SwingForce's picture

Yes, he was the Paine Webber man-on-the-floor when there were still men on the floor, floor brokers and the like. How things have changed.

kaiten's picture

Funny how everyone loves moaning about Europe these days. So let´s look at figures. Eurozone aggregate budget deficit(projection for this year): below 5%. UK/US/Japan all have projections for budget deficit(for this year) around 10%, twice as much as eurozone. Now, tell me someting about hypocrisy. 

Crisismode's picture

Hypocrisy is not limited to any country, nationality, race, or creed. It's a deeply-ingrained human trait.

kaiten's picture

Well, thanks for your information. I´ll remmeber that! :)

Black Forest's picture

There is no Eurozone. That "zone" is an artificial patchwork.


kaiten's picture

So the UK/US is so scared of an artificial patchwork? Even better.

Black Forest's picture

So the UK/US is so scared of an artificial patchwork?

That's the funny thing about it.

kaiten's picture

It´s more revealing than funny, actually. Revealing of UK/US "strength" and self-confidence.

Oquities's picture

i think that the ability to create your own currency trumps debt-to-GDP.  the other countries you mentioned have that distinction from the Eurozone.

walküre's picture

There was a time when the US was able to force the world at gunpoint to swallow that USD reserve currency medicine or else.

That time has passed.

Oquities's picture

nevertheless, Japan, UK and US can print (for now), unlike Greece, Italy, etc.

kaiten's picture

The ability to create own currency, aka debasing the currency(let´s call it the real name), is an advantage? Funny you say this. I dont know about any country devalue-ing itself into richness. Sure enough african and latin american countries tried many times, but so far failed. Perhaps US/UK will be more lucky in this regard. We´ll see ....

Oquities's picture

didn't say it was an advantage.  it is, however, a reality.

walküre's picture

Another open secret is that Europeans aren't leveraged 1000x and one step away from filing bankruptcy like so many Americans still are.

25% of home "owners" are upside down on their mortgage?

Almost 15% of the population on food stamps to survive?

Debt ceiling breached again and again?

Unaffordable military experiments and other useless expenditures spanning the globe?


PhattyBuoy's picture

Surely a signal to expand my small business ...

snowball777's picture

Nice pea under the shell attempt.

How's their inflation?

And their GDP?

Alright then.

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

FTSE about to do a 50DMA and 200DMA death cross for the first time in a year.... ooooh, permission to soil ones self sir.

Sambo's picture

Unfortunately or fortunately there is only one outcome. On a long enough timeline the survival rate for any system is zero.

MiningJunkie's picture

We need more Art Cashin's...