Morning Markets

02/11/11 -- The overnight grains were all a bit firmer early doors, led by beans, although all are off earlier session highs now with wheat and corn slipping into the red. European grains are mostly in positive territory although there is a definite air of nervousness.

The Greek PM surprisingly got the unanimous backing of his cabinet to press ahead with his referendum idea. Today he is due to meet up with Merkel & Sarkozy ahead of tomorrow's G-20 summit. Who wouldn't like to be a fly on the wall at that one?

An Italian newspaper is reporting that the central bank there is to launch an emergency operation to swap bonds held by the nation's banks for ones with a longer maturity.

Considering the mayhem that the potential of a Greek default has caused imagine the pandemonium that a potential Italian one would bring. Think it couldn't happen? Think again and stand well away from the fan, somewhere like Mars should be just about far enough away I should think.

By the way, the country who's banks are most exposed to Greek debt is France with a mere USD56 billion is on the line. Guess who's at the front of the queue in exposure to Italy. That's right, it's our garlic munching chums again. Want to guess how much they are in for on that one?

It's a little bit more than Greece at....USD416 billion!

German exposure if you are interested is "only" USD21 billion for Greece and USD162 billion for Italy. Remember this is only bank exposure and doesn't include private/public sector exposure.

Meanwhile France and German banks are into Spain for a combined USD328 billion.

All these numbers were as at the end of June by the way.

What time is the next flight to Mars?