CYPRUS CRISIS: Markets predicting huge euro sell-off

Cyprus is a tiny island at the centre of a three-dimensional chess game

‘[Cypus Finance Minister] Michael Sarris said the Cypriot Parliament would adopt the taxes over the weekend and the money would be extracted from accounts before banks take up business Tuesday. Monday is a public holiday.’

(Market-Ticker on the Cyriot bank bailout)

‘….as FX markets open, it appears EURJPY is getting hammered (from 124.47 close to 121.6) implying S&P futures will open down around 30 points…..’

(Zero Hedge)

The burglars came at dead of night/ Seven percent they stole, no right/ to steal one day to stop the run/ and give the wolf gang lots more fun

The Slog

It looks like those the Gods wish to destroy have rendered them mad. But don’t be too hasty in deciding: I still believe that there is some method in this particular case of madness. The pernicious EU persuasion machine is still working at full tilt. Take the latest burst of salted media stories over the last 36 hours in relation to Beppo Grillo’s Five Star movement that resulted in 136 new Italian Deputies under his banner after the last election.

The Brussels Sprouts are beyond nervous about Grillo: they’ve moved on to murderous. If 2012 was all about leverage on the sovereign fiscal scene, then 2013 in media terms is heralding the age of the lever. Reuters has a piece at the moment suggesting that all Grillo’s deputies are incompetent, Beppo himself a dictator in the making, and his first Mayor (in Parma) is a bit of a ham. None of it really checks out…or is indeed relevant: if it came down to a choice between dead-eyed sociopathy and hopeful inexperience, I’d choose the latter every time.

I remain convinced that the key player in all this is Schäuble, a man who may be the first quintuple-agent in history. He might even be The Spy who came in from the Cold. How many Schäubles are there – is he in reality a wolf gang? But at the geopolitical level, remember the German adage which rules most of their government planning: alles klar – we are ready. They have choices, and they are, as always, the nation of boy scouts who love to go on Wanderungs. They have the blank currency paper ordered in late 2010, they have the Merkel/Putin relationship, they have the export markets for posh durables least affected by changes in currency values, they have the Fiskalunion leadership stitched up, and thus – all up – they have the least to fear from a collapse of the EU.

This is an extract from something I wrote to an eclectic euro-group earlier today:

At the minute, the Anglo-Saxon West is obsessed by energy shortages and Islamism, while Brussels-am-Berlin remains desperate to have it’s political Union come to pass. My source in Brussels says they care not for the human, social or financial cost involved in that. My source in Madrid thinks this is a power struggle between Draghi and Schauble. My Washington source says the American game is to secure victory in Syria for the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, and thus isolate Iran further. My Berlin source says that nobody in political circles there really knows whose side Wolfgang Schauble is on. The British Foreign Office is (as always) confused. I have two sources in Paris who insist that a victory for the Syrian rebels and the avoidance of Greek default is all Hollande cares about. My sole Italian source says Italy will secede from the eurozone. My markets source in New Mexico is 90% certain that the Iberio-Italian crisis will sink the euro within weeks.’

It is a cacophony of anarchy out there as south-european fiscal blundering meets north-african revolution in the context of American, German, Russian, Chinese and Islamic geopolitics. Anything could happen, and probably will.

Stay tuned.

Yesterday at The Slog: Why political tacticians are doomed