08:38 – We did have a pretty nasty evening and night. Sleet turning into snow, a stiff breeze, and wind chills down at one point into the single digits Fahrenheit. Fortunately, it had been pretty warm for several days prior, with temperatures in the 60’s (~ 20C), so the ground and roads were warm enough to melt off the accumulated snow overnight. This morning I’m sure there’ll be glare ice on bridges and so on, but the effects of our Great Blizzard of 2012 should be gone by this afternoon. Colin loved it. It was the first time he’d seen snow. He was running around, digging his snout in and grabbing mouthfuls.
We got a lot done yesterday on the biology kits. If Barbara and I work full-time for the next couple of weekends, we’ll be ready to start assembling and shipping the first batch of 60 biology kits. Several people here have emailed me to ask about availability. I’ll post a heads-up here ahead of the general announcement to make sure my readers here get the first shot. We have no idea how long the first batch of 60 kits will last. They may sell out the first day, or it may be a week or a month.
The financial markets are awaiting the results of the big eurogroup meeting today to see if Germany cuts Greece loose or puts up sufficient money to keep things dragging on for a few more weeks. Ultimately, it doesn’t make any difference. Greece is toast. Everyone knows that, including the Greeks. Merkel is inclined to keep things going for a bit longer, but she’s facing considerable opposition in Germany, including from within her own party.
The problem is, it’s not a question of allocating just $20 billion or so to prevent Greece from defaulting on 20 March. The way things are structured, the eurogroup would have to commit $100+ billion immediately, of which Germany would have to commit the largest share. With the IMF backing away, agreeing to commit only about 10% of the total (versus about a third for earlier bailouts), and with Greece’s economy continuing to tank big-time, the eurozone governments will have to commit much more than originally planned. Regardless of what Merkozy think should be done, they both have their voters to worry about. German and French voters have had enough, long since, and there’s only so far that Merkozy can push.
My guess is that today’s meeting will end in “success”, with an announcement that the new bailout has been approved and that Greece has substantially complied with the requirements. The markets will rejoice. But then everyone will notice that Greece has no chance of meeting the conditions attached to the new bailout, and we’ll be back to where we were, with Greece teetering for a while longer before it actually falls into the abyss.