Europe’s dead stock markets

There is a huge range of performance among European bourses since the 2008-2009 crash. In the previous boom, all markets went up together, but these charts show that investors are now much more discriminating, and that there is a huge range of optimism among these countries.  Here is a series of 5-year charts from Bloomberg (you can browse lots more charts here):



Iceland (I’ve never seen a stock index that looks like this – it’s more like the aftermath of a penny stock pump-and-dump):












Switzerland :( I’m surprised that this is not higher, since the economy here is strong, but the Swiss are very conservative and becoming more so, preferring cash and gold to stocks):




Germany (DAX):


United Kingdom (FTSE 100):


The FTSE and DAX typically trade like the S&P500, shown below for reference:

These higher-quality markets are now very expensive and technically weak, and if they enter into another bear market the lower-quality markets should follow, quickly breaking their 2009 lows. Bottom feeding value investors may then be able to find a few odds and ends in the rubble.

Rumors of dollar’s death greatly exaggerated

Sentiment is still very anti-dollar (though not as extreme as last February-April), but the index is no lower than a few months ago, nor even a few years ago. Despite all of the dollar-crash and hyperinflation hysteria in recent years, early 2008 still marks the bottom.

MACD and RSI also seem to back up the case that the next big move is more likely up than down:

3 year daily chart:

5-year weekly chart:

10-year monthly:

The 10-year chart says it all: the dollar has already crashed, and as is typical in the financial markets, few noticed or attempted to take action until the move was already over.

DSK all but cleared; no surprise here.

So now we know the real story: Nafissatou Diallo is a hooker and scam artist, and she has been trying to shake down Strauss-Kahn after a consensual blowjob. She has been implicated in a pyramid scheme that rips off new immigrants; she made up a gang rape story to get asylum in the U.S.; she lied about her income to qualify for subsidized housing; she claimed a friend’s child as her own for extra benefits; and she has been working as a hooker in the Sofitel and elsewhere for years (even in the quarters where the DA is putting her up right now).

So this case is just another reminder of how awful prosecutors and the press are when it comes to the presumption of innocence, especially in rape cases, worst of all in cases with black accusers and rich white defendants like the Duke lacrosse affair.

I wrote about this phenomenon (the brilliant novelist Tom Wolfe calls it the Great White Defendant) and my skepticism of the allegations when DSK was first arrested.

The Great White Defendant refers to these rare cases where prosecutors get to target a member of the privileged class, and as a consequence of their guilt from having put away so many poor people, they pursue him like Ahab after the white whale. Of course, journalists love these cases because they fit their own preconceptions of oppressors and oppressed, and the media attention makes prosecutors stars and helps their political careers. The last such major case was the prosecution of several white Duke lacrosse players on the word of a black stripper who turned out to have made the whole thing up. The lead prosecutor in that case ended up being convicted of contempt and disbarred for his criminal disregard of the truth. Nifong served one day in jail, and neither the accuser nor the currupt police have been prosecuted for their actions. BTW, the accuser, Crystal Mangum, is facing a first degree murder charge for the stabbing of her boyfriend last month

As much as I dislike his politics and person, I hope for the pure theater of it that DSK wins the French presidency next year.