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Greece Gets Stark Warning


The world in your hands: an overnight, overseas update

So much for the supposed all for one, one for all ethos of the European Union. According to an Italian newspaper report today, ECB member Juergen Stark is adamant that other continental countries won't be bailing out arguably its most beleaguered member state. The tough stance on Greece, issued in emphatic language - markets are "deluding" themselves if they expect a rescue from the nation's neighbors - is having an adverse impact on the euro today. Remembering how the Greek debacle torpedoed U.S. equities immediately after Thanksgiving, any renewed fears ahead of an already heavy news day in Athens will be worth watching. PS...Greece's Finance Minister, seen here wearing glasses which may well be rose-tinted, has just shot back at Stark in an interview of his own.

Japan's finance ministry seems to be a poisoned chalice. A year after the demon drink claimed one occupant, the health-related resignation of current incumbent Hirohisa Fujii appears imminent as I write this. Such a scenario would disappoint the country's Prime Minister, who today told reporters Fujii "fathered the budget so I would strongly like him to raise his child". A task which appears singularly ill suited to a 77 year old man.

Should Fujii step down he will presumably have more time to play Nintendo (NTDOY), which should further boost a stock which surged 6.9% in Tokyo trading today as the Nikkei Index rose to a fresh 15-month high. Blockbuster sales of its Wii gaming device in America drove Nintendo stock.

Warming Warren's heart, Kraft (KFT) announced on Wednesday morning that a lackluster 1.5% of Cadbury (CBY) shareholders have accepted its takeover offer so far. Cadbury owners have until February 2nd to make a definitive decision on the $16.5 billion deal. Groundhog Day seems an appropriate date to resolve this unending, unedifying saga.
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