- Italy Is Biggest Risk to Euro, Says Fitch (WSJ)
- Greek Bailout in Peril (WSJ)
- Swiss Currency Test Looms for SNB’s Jordan in Race to Replace Hildebrand (Bloomberg)
- Daley to Depart as Obama Shifts Strategy From Compromise to Confrontation (Bloomberg)
- BOE Stimulus Expansion May Not Be Enough to Revive U.K. Recovery, BCC Says (Bloomberg)
- Geithner in China to Discuss Yuan, Iran (Bloomberg)
- China Won’t See Hard Landing in 2012, Former PBOC Adviser Yu Yongding Says (Bloomberg)
- Measures to boost China financial markets (China Daily)
- Obama Panel to Watch Beijing (WSJ)
As Greek standards of living nose-dive, loans to households and businesses shrink still further, and Troika-imposed PSI discussions continue, there is one segment of the country's infrastructure that is holding up well. In a story on Zeit Online, the details of the multi-billion Euro new arms contracts are exposed as the European reach-around would be complete with IMF (US) and Europe-provided Greek bailout cash doing a full-circle into American Apache helicopters, French frigates, and German U-Boats. As the unnamed source in the article notes: "If Greece gets paid in March the next tranche of funding (€ 80 billion is expected), there is a real opportunity to conclude new arms contracts." With the country's doctors only treating emergencies, bus drivers on strike, and a dire lack of school textbooks and the country teetering on the brink of Drachmatization, perhaps our previous concerns over military coups was not so far-fetched as after the Portuguese (another obviously stressed nation), the Greeks are the largest buyers of German war weapons. It seems debt crisis talks perhaps had more quid pro quo than many expected as Euro Fighter commitments were also discussed and Greek foreign minister Droutsas points out:"Whether we like it or not, Greece is obliged to have a strong military".
According to the BBC, the issue of the Tobin Tax, which as we reported previously, had garnered some vocal proponents recently, but was never expected to be anything than mere discussion points, has gotten a firm G-20 supporter in the face of French president Nicolas Sasrkozy. And while the opposition of the US is a certainty, the recent overtures by FSA Chairman Adair Turner in which he announced he would consider a Tobin tax implementation, means the US could be all alone in its disapproval of this form of taxation.