It's Groundhog Day (Again)

30/01/12 -- Fitch cut the ratings of five more EU countries late on Friday I hear, including Belgium, Italy and Spain. Nouriel Roubini, the economist famous for seeing the 2008 sub-prime led market meltdown coming first, says that the eurozone will collapse within the year. Greece and Portugal will be first out of the door, he forecasts.

Elsewhere I read over the weekend that Greece is already making plans to do a moonlight flit in "as orderly a fashion as possible" which I suspect won't include putting the hoover round and emptying the bins before they go.

This morning on Radio 4, Yanis Varoufakis - a prestigious economist who heads the Department of Economic Policy at the University of Athens - said that the Greek austerity plans wouldn't work "even if God and his angels were to descend upon Athens and put them in place."

A German proposal to give the EU control of Greece's budget has not surprisingly met with fierce opposition from the debt laden country. "You can't tell us how to spend your money."

Meanwhile Greece insists that a deal with private bondholders will be finalised this week as European leaders meet in Brussels with most member states, but not the UK, expected to sign up to a new treaty.

On a different note has anyone noticed the Baltic Dry Index falling out of bed lately. Mid-December it was over 1900 points and on Friday it closed at 726 - a drop of almost two thirds in six weeks!

The theory goes that the BDI is an indicator for the potential performance of the world economy as it reflects demand for commodities around the globe. It's not been below 1000 since the dark wrist-slashing depths of late 2008/early 2009 when NYMEX crude fell to under USD35/barrel.

A wet week is in store for Argentina by all accounts, which seems to be influencing the overnight grains which see beans around 13 cents lower, corn down 4-5 cents and wheat 4-7 cents easier.

Extreme cold for Ukraine and Russia is the new weather scare to worry about. "The cold wave is expected to continue for another week with temperatures 15-20 F below normal," say Martell Crop Projections.