Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Sigh of Relief, and Layoffs

The Greek election results were as inconclusive as observers and polls had predicted. The new Greek government will be forced to seek a compromise, maintaining the country’s connection to the euro zone while somehow relying less on that connection. That is not an easy answer to find. Given the difficulties, the enthusiastic response of the stock markets and, especially, the rally in oil prices might well confuse people. How can something so indefinite be such a favorable sign?

It is worth remembering that this is not exactly a jubilant time on Wall Street and around the world of high finance. Layoffs continue on a large scale this summer, and as time passes, the large intermediaries are slowly losing touch with their customers. But even when the world is turning in another direction, the relief at learning that it is not moving so quickly as it appeared the day before can still be an occasion for a market rally.