Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Observations, conclusions and the paranoia of an unemployed banker ... and some bikes

When does an anecdote become a valid observation? A friend told me that on Sunday Geneva airport was full of Greeks. Of course he could have coincidentally arrived at the same time as the daily flight from Athens, in which case it might be valid to say that at least once a day there's a lot of Greek passengers in Geneva airport. Well whatever the case there were a lot of people speaking Greek in central Geneva today when I rode through Place Molard on my old bike. How paranoid am I if I take this anecdote, turn it into an observation and then conclude that the Greeks are here opening bank accounts in order to get their money somewhere safe. Crazy? I'm not so sure ....

The most crucial thing I can see today is the maturation of €435m that Greece issued under foreign laws. Now there is a grace period, so we might not get anything today other than a technical default notice. If they pay out in full investors who took the negotiated haircut back in April are not going to be happy. If they don't then they will suffer the indignity of a foreign court dictating terms to them. It may be somewhat indicative that the Greeks honored a coupon payment on JPY denominated bonds on May 8. Clearly it would be easier to only deal with the Greek law bonds, but €435m is a lot more than a ¥900m (US$11.3m) coupon payment.

So the new French President flies out soon to meet with the now Sarkozy-less Merkozy. Can it be anything other than a disaster? I guess that depends where you're coming from. If Merkel backs down on austerity then she's doomed to join other ex-national leaders on the lecture circuit. If she and her phalanx of treasury officials call the Presidents bluff (because that's what it is), she probably has doomed Greece and Spain. My theory is that they'll make a joint statement along the lines that they are reviewing the current agreement and would both like to see more incentives given to the Greek nation . . . yadda, yadda, ... At least Merkel and German's are cruising along with the help of the weak Euro. German GDP expanded at 0.5% in the first quarter.

Enough of the doom and gloom . . . see I didn't mention J P Morgan once!

In the Giro I was happy to see a rider on a Pinarello Dogma 2 take out stage 9 yesterday. I'm bias as I ride a Dogma 1, but most agree that it's one of the most unusual bikes in the Peleton with it's curved lines that seem to be always in motion. I'd like to have the electronic shifting, but at around 4 grand it's a lot for a simple amateur like me.

Pinarello Dogma 2 with Campagnolo electronic shifting
There was a  crash 400 meters from the finish that took out most of the top sprinters, including points leader Matt Goss (GreenEdge on a Scott Foil) and world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky - On in my view an ugly black Pinarello Dogma 2).

Scott Foil

Cavendish's Pinarello Dogma 2
I'm kind of getting bored with these crashes on sprint finishes. It seems like a huge lottery to me and thats no way to pick a champion.

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