We built a castle on a cloud, Brown writes. With European markets back in turmoil the only question is whether or not our castle on a cloud can remain aloft, above the disturbances at ground level.
Syntagma Square in Athens is once again filled with the sound of beating drums and the flames of firebombs as the entire nation walks off the job for the first general strike since the coalition government was formed this past June. In Spain, the situation is rapidly deteriorating; protestors beat up a policeman in the middle of the street last night in full view of the news cameras - we're talking about a heretofore unseen level of rage as PM Rajoy readies his official bailout request to the Northern purse string-holders.
Which brings me to the US equity markets, which are coming off of a virtually uninterrupted melt-up since the end of June, with virtually every sector and stock participating regardless of economic sensitivity. This in the face of eroding fundamentals for many bellwether stocks and industry groups, Fedex and Caterpillar being just the latest examples to tell us how lousy things are.