‘Grexit,’ Fed minutes stories resemble ‘Flash Gordon’ serial

Tired stock markets await long-delayed Greek, U.S. interest rate resolutions by moving sideways with a negative bias. Nothing to see here, folks. Yet.

Buster Crabbe.
Screen capture from YouTube clip of 1936 "Flash Gordon" serial, starring Buster Crabbe (R). So who is today's "Ming the Merciless" (Center)?

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2015 – As we noted yesterday, comments in this column will remain relatively brief as long as the Greek monetary situation remains unresolved and until the Federal Reserve releases its previous minutes this Wednesday afternoon. Definitive news on either issues—or both—could result in a major market move, which is likely to be down. Big time. Or not. Don’t miss the next thrilling episode.

Read Also: Federal Reserve, free trade, ‘Grexit’ fears hit. Monday stocks. Hard.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continues that old Commie game of promising that an agreement with the Eurozone is imminent—just as long as the Eurozone bails his improvident government and country out of its socialist pickle by taking a financial bath and penalizing most of the rest of that continent’s taxpayers to do it. Tsipras knows the European elites fear a Greek default and the potentially significant problems it would entail.

Read Also: Greece: Spoiled by debt.

But what the left-wing international media fail to notice much is the little game Tsipras is playing on the side with the Soviet Russian thugocracy in Moscow. Buried in this week’s news is passing mention that Tsipras is “planning a trip to Russia.” Hmmm.

Vladimir Putin is more than happy to encourage Greek fecklessness as payback for the West’s opposition to Vlad’s de facto military takeover move in the Ukraine. He’s dangling the threat of some kind of Russian bailout for Tsipras and Greece for the small price of moving that country into the Soviet Russian orbit, royally screwing the NATO alliance in the process.

That’s why Tsipras keeps covering his tracks with the usual anti-capitalist diatribes one can expect from any Communist engaged in “serious negotiations.” According to a report from Reuters, Tsipras has told his government and his countrymen that the European moneybags who’ve been bailing Greece out for years “want to humiliate the Greek government” averring that their pursuit of cuts in the massively overstuffed and overcompensated Greek government bureaucracy has “political ends.” As if all Tsipras’ lies and provocations do not.

The real problem is that Tsipras and his pals—similar to most Western governments—no longer represent the people they’re supposed to represent.

Like Greece, Western governments have evolved into tightly wrapped entities unto themselves, taking care of their wealthy patrons and left-leaning political demagogues leaders while extorting their upper class lifestyles from the proletariat. It’s getting stock markets around the world completely paranoid, as is reflected in current market action.

The Fed’s ongoing confusion over raising interest rates is another part of this puzzle. In an attempt to create some cover for getting rates back to normal—which might actually goad banks into loaning money to Mr. and Mrs. America again after a 7-year famine-like hiatus—the Fed and the government have been dishonestly painting a rosy picture of an improving economy.

This is again an old tactic of the left. If you tell a lie long enough and loud enough, people will accept it as the truth. Problem is, aside from America’s East and West coast elites and the politicians they own, no one else across the Fruited Plain is exactly feeling the love. Hence, more market nervousness and more Fed squirming about what to do and how to do it.

This monetary and economic mess reminds the Maven those old “Flash Gordon” serials that used to run on TV in the 1950s. Starring Olympic swimming great Buster Crabbe (who also once played Tarzan), the original 1930s black and white cliffhangers ran one episode per week as part of the entertainment packages that once preceded Saturday matinee movie.

Every week, Flash, his gal pal Dale, and the mysterious, bearded inventor Dr. Zarkhov would try to derail the wicked plans of Emperor Ming the Merciless, absolute ruler of the renegade planet Mongo. But each week, Ming would counterattack our heroes, leading to a cliffhanger ending that assured you’d return to the cinema the following week to find out what happened.

That’s exactly what this market feels like. Week after week, it’s another cliffhanger. This is exciting in the entertainment world. (Ask fans of “The Game of Thrones.”) But it’s getting sickeningly boring in this stock market, given that everything seems to keep going down.

Since it’s Tuesday, we’ll likely see the next “episode” of our economic serial tomorrow afternoon when the Fed makes some kind of pronouncement on interest rates. But if Yellen and her pals issue a mixed message, we’ll have a whole lot of additional episodes to endure before we can figure out who wins the cosmic money battle, with Greece still running ominously in the background.

(Below: A short YouTube clip from the original 1936 “Flash Gordon” serial, with Buster Crabbe as Flash (R), Jean Rogers as Dale (L) and Charles Middleton as Ming (Center). This is the only serial that has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.)

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17