Smoke Signals

sslogoMore gold at dawn than people realise? A reliable source here in Athens states that current polls are understating support for Golden Dawn. “Were we to have elections tomorrow,” he confides via official pollsters, “they [GD] would be in the driving seat.

It’s not uncommon when canvassing for respondents to understate their support for extreme Parties. But this information is supported by broader data showing that faith in the democratic political system is collapsing, with almost a third of respondents expressing nostalgia for the 1967-74 dictatorship on the eve of the coup’s 46th anniversary. This comes from Eleftherotypia’s front page on Sunday, the data suggesting that Anti-austerity parties in parliament would win a majority of votes if an election were to happen tomorrow.

The Slog predicted this in the context of Alexis Tsipras’s loss of support last week. I noted at the time that ‘the decision of Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras to accept the euro as ‘a given’ in Greek mainstream politics is about to backfire badly.’

It’s devaluation Jim, but not as we know it. Japan continues to sell the Yen aggressively in a bid to get exports back on track, but the G20 says this is OK and “in line with our stated policy”. We’d all love to know what that policy is, but soon-to-be Governor Mark Carney is particularly keen on Tokyo’s approach, saying that Japan’s action “is consistent with the G20 communiqué that called for countries to refrain from competitive devaluation”. Ah, right: so Japan’s policy isn’t competitive devaluation then. Fair enough, just so long as we know.

Carney is forced to take this utterly illogical line. As I have posted before, his avowed intent on his arrival at the Old Threadneedle Lady in July is to do exactly the same with Sterling. Not that this represents financial advice or anything, but well before then I intend to be in another currency.

Triple dipper off the port bow. Reeling from the failure of his ‘austerity’ policy to impress anyone from Fitch to Lagarde, Draper Osborne is about to dish out some liquidity to the SME sector his banking system seems to keen to defraud and destroy. Nice one, Squeaky: only 32 months late, but better late than never. There is, however, a very good reason why wee George is doing this: he knows that, this Thursday, the UK’s latest quarterly GDP figures will show another drop….and trigger headlines about triple-dip.

In these days of globally flat economies and hourly games of money-chucking to improve liquidity made arid by mad bankers, the term recession has become meaningless: for the umpteenth time, we have not had a triple-dip recession, we’ve had what started as a recession turning first into depression, and then a full-on slump. Only our tax monies are disguising this reality.

But that’s not the way Labour and the markets will interpret it, so George is manning every media barricade in an attempt to lessen the importance of the signals. Two classic examples of this can be viewed in today’s Torygraph, one by Roger Bootle and the other from Kamal Ahmed. 

On the Conservative Right, however, the interpretation will be different again. From Redwood to Johnson via Gove and Hunt, the cry for more tax cuts and more austerity will become increasingly hysterical. If I thought any of them had the balls to dismiss 80,000 Whitehall wankers and take their illegally-awarded pension boosts off them, I’d support that move. But they don’t: their real aim is to sack the fairy Kingdom of Camerlot in time for the next Election. And their target will be none other than George Orborne.

Last night at The Slog: Giggling at CNN’s banker-advertising bollocks