Finals time musings – what Collingwood and Geelong have that Europe lacks

September 26, 2011

Global Macro

It’s footy finals time and whatever your game of choice there is something consistent about the teams which are still going at the business end of the season – they all may have some individual brilliance but they play as a team. I got to thinking about the parallels between the European malaise and footy on Friday as I was watching my team, Collingwood go round against the Hawks.

I was extremely nervous playing the Hawks, nervousness not misplaced given the fact the Pies were behind for so much of the match. At 3 quarter time we’d only kicked 5 goals but in the final quarter we kicked 5 goals 2 and managed to snatch the win and a Grand Final berth by 3 points.  Now how did Collingwood manage to double the number of goals it had scored in the first 3 quarters in the final quarter of the game?


Football is about process, practising and honing skills and then delivering on the day. It’s not just about the team it also about the opposition (which concerns me playing Geelong in this weekend’s grand final) and sometimes the opposition is too good.

All of these thoughts of footy and the grand final have been washing around my head all weekend as I watch twitter and see what’s being said by European politicians and central bankers. And it struck me they just lack process, they haven’t practiced and the opposition is just too good for them. It’s no wonder even their most ardent supporters are losing faith. The Manager (European politicians) hasn’t a clue, the coach (ECB) is trying hard but his players (European Banks and economies) are just not in the best shape. The opposition (markets, hedge funds, CDS sellers) are all moving faster and tackling harder than their players. And at the business end of the season they just lack class.

Bloomberg reported this morning that former Commonwealth Bank boss and now Future Fund Head David Murray agrees with me. Bloomberg reported,

David Murray, chairman of Australia’s Future Fund, attributed the sovereign debt crisis in Europe to governments’lack of understanding and discipline.

“This was a failure of government to understand the realities of financial markets and of fiscal discipline in their own countries,” Murray, who oversees the government-owned entity controlling A$75 billion ($73 million) of assets, said on the Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s “Inside Business” program yesterday. “What this says to me is that people elected to political life have far too little an understanding of the limits of debt than they should have.”

In other words they just aren’t cut out for the big league.

But news over the weekend that,

European officials are working on a grand plan to restore confidence in the single currency area that would involve a massive bank recapitalisation, giving the bail-out fund several trillion euros of firepower, and a possible Greek default.

feels like it is just another iteration of the crisis. But when I hear UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne say that Europe has 6 weeks to save the Euro and read about this so called plan I have hope and fear in equal measure. I worry that we have just been set another artificial deadline and that markets recent turmoil is as much in our near future as our recent past.

Hopefully Collingwood will be better prepared and equipped Saturday to handle Geelong. European politicians on the other hand, well….

This blog is for information only and does not constitute advice. Neither Greg McKenna nor Lighthouse Securities has taken your personal circumstances, objectives or financial situation into account. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs.

If you do need economic, investment or financial advice we are happy to help.

Please Email the team at Lighthouse at or Greg directly on

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