Greek Protesters Rage Against Austerity Measures
So the shit’s hitting the fan in Greece. Again. There’s a general strike today… the third one in 2011.
Cops in Athens unloaded tear gas on protesters who tried to surround the Parliament building. The vain attempt to keep members from gathering to vote on more “austerity measures” failed. Austerity measures are a condition of the next eurozone bailout.
“We don’t want any more bailouts from the EU,” a 67-year-old man told the BBC’s Paul Mason. “We’d rather be poor and broke.” Given what the previous bailouts have accomplished, we expect he may get all three.
“This thing has gone beyond left and right,” Mason reports. “It’s clear that for many people, it is the Hellenic republic versus the rest of the world.”
In the last 24 hours, traders in the credit default swap market have upped Greece’s five-year probability of default from 74% to over 75%. The yield on 10-year Greek debt has spiked from 17.4% to 17.9%.
Likewise, the hacker group known as Anonymous “engaged” its “Operation Empire State Rebellion” yesterday.
The idea was to have people occupy “public spaces” yesterday until whenever Ben Bernanke resigned as Fed chairman. The group posted specific spaces on a Google map showing where the “engaged” should show up.
One of those spaces was Liberty Park in New York.
Greece it was not…
“Despite thousands of emails, tweets, comments and a video that already has 200,000 views,” writes organizer David DeGraw, “only four people in NYC were ready to put serious action behind their words.”
One of them, we see, included a V for Vendetta mask to underscore the point.
Bernanke presumably showed up for work as usual today at the Marriner S. Eccles Building in Washington. If so, we’re sure he was even less motivated by the protesters than he was in this archival photo flippin’ the bird at Congress. Ho-hum.
The yield on a 10-year U.S. bond is down slightly this morning, just below 3.1%.
Heck, even the Chinese like Treasuries again. According to figures out this morning from the Treasury Department, China was a net buyer of Treasuries in April for the first time in six months.