Europe: Watching Soccer, not the Markets

Late on Friday night, German time, I got an email from Portfolio headquarters in New York. "Not that I need to tell you this," it said, "but give us a little taste of how Europe is shaping up Monday morning."

OK. Here in Berlin it’s an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny, not too hot, blue skies. The mood is very cheerful, since Germany beat Poland 2-0 last night in the European cup. The rest of the first four matches went more or less according to expectations too: the Czech Republic beat Switzerland in the opener, Portgual beat Turkey 2-0, and Croatia managed to beat Austria 1-0. Tonight is Netherlands-Italy, which should be fun.

You want news news? There’s a truck drivers’ strike in Spain, not much else. On the business side, Germany’s Postbank is going to be sold, probably for about $15 billion, but we kinda knew that was going to happen already. And the weird France Télécom bid for Scandinavia’s TeliaSonera seems to be falling apart – also to no one’s great surprise.

Oh, and the stock markets? No news there, basically flat. If you’re the kind of person who watches CNBC all day and was panicked into thinking that the world was coming to an end on Friday, it wasn’t. As for oil, it’s down a little bit, although still at an eye-watering $137.65 a barrel. Basically, USians, you’re on your own. You wanna continue with the whole crazy-volatile markets thing? Go right ahead. Won’t bother us.

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