What We’re Reading: Grecian Formula

by CC June 24, 2011 8:24 am • Commentary

Seeking Alpha

Today’s Markets

  • In Asia, Japan +0.8% to 9679. Hong Kong +1.9% to 22172. China +2.2% to 2746. India +2.9% to 18241.
  • In Europe, at midday, London +0.8%. Paris +1.0%. Frankfurt +0.9%.
  • Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude +0.5% to $91.48. Gold -0.2% to $1518.10.

Friday’s Economic Calendar



European Union leaders promised more money to help Greece stave off looming bankruptcy, provided its parliament enacts an austerity plan finalized in fraught last-minute talks with international lenders.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou promised to push through radical economic reform after his new finance minister clinched agreement with EU and IMF inspectors on extra tax rises and spending cuts to plug a 3.8 billion euro funding gap.

“A comprehensive reform package… and adoption by the Greek parliament of the key laws on the fiscal strategy and privatization must be finalized as a matter of urgency in the coming days,” EU leaders said in a summit statement.

“This will provide the basis for setting up the main parameters of a new program jointly supported by its euro area partners and the IMF and allow disbursement in time to meet Greece’s financing needs in July,” the 27 leaders said.

The euro rebounded against the dollar and U.S. stocks pared losses on news of the agreement in Athens.

Business Insider

In a big FT op-ed that came out on Thursday (which we summarized here), Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao explains how China was growing, and helping to strengthen the world economy.

The most newsworthy part, though, was where he basically called the Chinese inflation problem over, saying it had been solved.

Does he know something about future data releases? Not clear, but it seems Shanghai stocks like the message, as the main index — which has been very weak — surged over 2%.


Trading in Italian bank stocks was suspended Friday after a sudden drop in share prices. Shares in UniCredit SpA IT:UCG -3.95% fell 8.9% ahead of the halt in trading and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA IT:ISP -2.52% dropped 7.2%. A spokeswoman for Borsa Italiana said the suspension was temporary and was triggered by “technical problems about volatility.” David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index, said there had been rumours that Italy’s banks may need to raise more capital in the wake of European stress tests. Many other European bank stocks also turned lower, with Natixis FR:KN -3.64% dropping 3.5% in Paris and Lloyds Banking Group PLC UK:LLOY +9,633.82% LYG -3.82% down 2.2% in London.


Oracle Corp (ORCL.O) posted disappointing quarterly results particularly in hardware sales, sparking concerns about a sharper-than-expected slowdown in tech spending and sending its shares down 6 percent.

Oracle’s earnings came on the same day Micron Technology (MU.O) reported quarterly revenue below expectations, and the combination raised fears about how well the technology sector is holding up in the face of shaky economies, especially in Europe.

Chicago Tribune

Google Inc found itself at the center of multiple government investigations on Thursday into whether it is using its dominance in search advertising to scotch competition.

At least three state attorneys general have started antitrust investigations into Google, a source familiar with the matter said.

The source declined to elaborate on the details of the investigations by the attorneys general of California, Ohio and New York as they were still in the early stages.


Bonus: Spider Man Sued:

Tobey Maguire is at the center of a lawsuit alleging that the actor won millions of dollars in an elaborate ring of underground poker games attended to by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and a doofus named Bradley Ruderman (more on him in a bit).  These games took place at revolving locations around Los Angeles, were protected by kevlar-wearing, gun-toting guards and required passwords to get into.  Now with all of that in mind, does the innocent-looking gent to your left strike you as someone who would not only be in on these games, but allegedly winning a million dollars a month over the course of three years?