My European vacation

On Friday Feb. 20th, the US markets took off after news of a Greek compromise had been reached. Unfortunately “the news” was timed to the close of equities.

However, the details show that “the agreement” was more of a cooling off period as each side considers options to the positions.

European bourses on Monday had a more muted response in equities and bond markets, sensing that the other  shoe may drop later this week.

European media on Saturday warned of this development later this week.

Very curious on the price movement in the precious metal market.

On Monday gold moved below $1,200 as dollar strength moved the euro towards the $1.12 mark.

This correlation should be broken this week if the Greek solution turns back towards a stand-off with the new government.


Back from an eight-day trip in Italy. Quite an eye opener.

While visiting the usual attractions in Rome, Florence and Venice, I was taken aback by the dependence of the Italian economy on tourist cash.

Yes, both Rome and Venice were short jaunts, but I spent more time in Florence and took time to visit areas outside of city center.

Manufacturing is all but gone from the city. Two former owners say they could not compete on price with China or Germany on price, despite quality due to Italian tax policy.

Greek ex-pats all agree that Greece will never be able to repay its EU debt. All feel that the euro has not been the solution to the Greek ills or Italy as well.

Yes, they say, large corporations that operate pan Europe have done very well, but the general public has not received a similar upgrade in their economic standing.



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