"Did Somebody Repeal The Laws Of Mathematics?"

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From Grant Williams' latest Things That Make you Go Hmm.

Remember late-2010? When Spain wasn’t a problem, but merely a potential problem? I do:

(FT, November 17, 2010): For some of the world’s biggest hedge funds, typically regarded as the savviest traders in the market, there is now one big question facing the eurozone: what is going to happen to Spain?

 

While Europe’s politicians are grappling with the crisis unravelling in Ireland, hedge fund managers are already turning their attention to  the issue of how – and if – a peripheral crisis in Ireland could leap via Portugal and Spain to become a systemic crisis for the eurozone as a whole.

 

“The Irish problem will be contained,” says Guillaume Fonkenell, chief investment officer at Pharo, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful macro funds, which specialises in trading on macroeconomic events and trends. “For us contagion is the issue ... If the market loses confidence in Spain, then all bets are off. Spain is too big to bail.”...

Back then, the general opinion was that if the contagion spread to Spain the game was over because there wasn’t enough money with which to bail out an economy the size of The Kingdom of Spain. I’m not sure exactly what happened— maybe I wasn’t paying attention—but suddenly, almost two years on and in an environment where even the rich nations of Europe are seeing an undeniable slide towards recession, there is no talk about Spain being ‘too-big-to-bail’ anymore.

Did somebody repeal the laws of mathematics?

Presumably, if the contagion reaches Italy that would be OK too now, I guess.

As it first hit the headlines as a potential problem, Spain made a presentation to potential investors that highlighted how strong the country actually was despite the conjecture amongst market participants. The presentation is highly educational and can be found in full HERE, but as a taster, here’s one particular slide that caught my eye:

Oh, to hell with it... here’s another:

Some opportunity.

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