Yet another Greek tragedy is playing out in economically distressed southern Europe.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to win support for his presidential candidate.
So citizens will head to the polls again, this time 18 months ahead of schedule.
With the "extreme left" party currently in the lead, there's more than political posturing at stake.
Volatility is sure to rise, and the pressure on ECB President Mario Draghi to "do something" will grow stronger than ever.
It feels like "déjà-vu all over again" as Europe continues to try and find ways to remain unified.
While the squabbling continues, we've found the best way of creating investment opportunities...
Where Greece Stands Today: Promises, Promises
On Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, Greece's prime minister announced on live TV that parliament would be dissolved and elections held on Jan. 25.
That caused Greek 10-year yields to jump 1.3% (to 9.5% yields) and the benchmark stock index to swoon 11% intraday as the market digested this news. The euro dropped to 1.215 against the U.S. dollar, its lowest levels since the depths of the mid-2012 European sovereign debt crisis.
Jitters are being felt across the European Union as the political uncertainty is seeping into already grim economic expectations.
After all, the 2012 Greek debt exchange was the largest debt restructuring in the history of sovereign defaults.
And since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Greece, it seems, has stumbled from one economic repair patch to the next, and it's not hard to figure out why.
Thanks to outlandish promises, the poll-leading "hard-left" Syriza party could well form the next government.
What goodies are party leader Alexis Tsipras promising?
- An end to austerity and the bailout agreement with the European Union
- Renegotiating repayment terms on loans from Euro member nations
- Increasing the minimum wage by 50%
- Inflating the public sector through hiring and by boosting salaries and pensions
- Providing free heating and electricity for Greece's poorest
Why Tsipras hasn't promised everyone a free luxury vacation home on Santorini, I'm not entirely sure...
Here's the thing...
Greece has been here many times before, most notably after years of falling purchasing power due to World War II and a civil war from 1945-1949. That reversed during the "Greek economic miracle" between 1950 and 1973.
Greece's economy enjoyed average annual growth of 7% during those years, with rates surpassing 10% during the 1950s. A large contributor to this "miracle" was a dramatic devaluation of its currency, the drachma.
Purchasing power and wages took a big hit, but that drastically discouraged suddenly much- pricier imports and encouraged local substitutions, and exports soared as their costs to foreigners plummeted. The economy adjusted, then quickly recovered as it was once again allowed to regain competitiveness.
Obviously, Syriza is overpromising good economic times and Greece remaining within the Euro currency union. But if they win, they're likely to underdeliver, as they haven't explained exactly how they'll achieve the new "Greek economic miracle."
The truth is that surely they can't deliver as promised.
Greece's Troubles Are Nearly Insurmountable
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