So, it's all over. The London Olympics are now consigned to the history books and the fantastic events which have lit up this summer will live long in the memory. We will all have our favourite moments, there's plenty to choose from. We leave London 2012 behind with new heroes created, recognition won and records rewritten.
Unfortunately, all that glitters cannot be gold, what goes up must come down and nothing lasts forever. That is particularly true when it comes to the world of finance and the last 16 days of Olympian feats of human endeavour have coincided with the quietest summer trading fortnight since 2006.
European politicians should start trickling back from their summer holidays soon, with Angela Merkel returning from a walking holiday in Italy on Wednesday (ironically Italy may well be asking for stimulus after the Italian 50km walking champion was disqualified for doping in London). Until they are all back, there is little that can be done to resolve on-going 'European issues'.
The pressure will be increasing on Frau Merkel's shoulders in the coming months as the contagion once again creeps across Europe towards the core. Nine months ago we were looking at a European split between a core that was exhibiting few economic signs of being shackled to a dead albatross like Greece and a periphery with borrowing costs spiralling rapidly out of control.
German bond yields have started to tick higher over the past month, demonstrating that the market is increasingly worried about the German financial situation. In the past, traders were buying German debt as a hedge against the European issues on the basis that, if there was some form of break-up, Germany would be in the strongest position. This has reversed in recent weeks as the market mind-set has now switched to the expectation that any bailout package for the periphery will add to the overall German debt levels.
While the Greek and Spanish elections have had their own individual market impact the German election - due next autumn - will be far more important. Merkel was castigated for referring to the Greek election as a "referendum on the euro", but she was right. While not every election will carry the market weight (most have forgotten about the rise of Francois Hollande) that Germany's does, the principles voted on by the German electorate will become policy for those of the rest of Europe.
In opposition to Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel is currently talking openly about fiscal union and joint Eurozone bonds that, while constitutionally unviable at the moment, are the basis of the agreed future framework of the Eurozone. While he may not win the battle (having being witheringly dismissed by Merkel previously) the inclusion of these topics is good for the rest of Europe.
After all if we Brits can show some togetherness, surely the Europeans can do it as well.
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