OK, this post may actually take more like 180seconds to read..
Since today's finance news was not of major importance, yet still worthy enough to briefly reflect upon, here's a 'real world' summary of what happened.
Markets are up about 60pts. Strong China data is one reason (Wall St has a bit of Stockholm Syndrome to it; seems to always go up when their debt Masters do well). Its funny though-- the Telegraph UK reported today that, "China's trade surplus shrank last year as import and export growth slowed sharply after domestic tightening measures and the global economic crisis weighed on consumption."
So not quite sure what was "positive" about that? No matter-- the millions of mom & pop investors who only skim headlines didn't know either.
Also, supposedly Europe looks better. Yawn.. I know.. same tired story.
But what's the specific rationale today? Fitch, the credit rating agency, promised France it would not touch its undeserved AAA credit rating until at least 2013 even if France's economy falters, unless it falters really really bad.. as in SO bad that Fitch can not conveniently ignore it anymore. A behind-the-scenes present to Sarkozy and his 2012 re-relection bid can only go so far.
I'm pretty sure there's a similar Fitch deal in place with Obama but that won't be announced until the US market needs an artificial boost of its own.
Also it was sad to see Hungary's government capitulate to the IMF so quickly. They tried valiantly to stand up to the bankers, even Parliamentary changing their banking laws so they could have more control over their interest rates. But in the end, money talks and sovereignty walks-- today Hungary is on both bended knees, ready for more bailouts to cover the rising costs and interest on the first bailout.
IMF head Christine LaGarde sure seems smug and proud as she presides over nothing more than a US owned loansharking operation; she must be feeling more manly everyday.
Lastly, after Greece warned Germany & France without more money, it would default, Merkel warned Greece, "No bondholder deal, no bailout". I'm sure if they could, Fitch would then warn Greece to pay their debts or suffer junk status, but since that's where the nation Already is at credit-wise, its pretty obvious where things stand in spite of all the back n' forth 'warnings' doesn't it?
And now you're up to date..
PS Relax- all the really bad stuff isn't going to occur until late Feb/early March.. so for now, just sit back and have a cookie..