Markets tremble. Fingers crossed.
Erm...everything's happening at once. The FTSE is, as I write, down 2.1% and below 5,000; there's been a "flight to quality" in the bond markets - people clamouring to buy US debt and getting out of anything risky. So why?
It's a combination of what didn't happen and what might happen. What didn't happen at the weekend was that the G20 didn't come up with any unified global stance on combating a double-dip recession. It said in effect: if your political and fiscal situation demands austerity, go ahead; meanwhile if you can get away with more fiscal stimulus, be our guest.
Now, on top of that, the European Central Bank is preparing to pull 442 euros worth of liquidity out of the EU's banking sector. The ECB had extended the biggest ever central bank equivalent of a cash float to the stricken banks on a 12 month basis: from Thursday it will withdraw that facility. And Spain's banks above all are raging about it.
Meanwhile the Greek sovereign debt crisis won't go away. Despite being thrown a lifeline by the EU on 9 May, the quality of Greek debt keeps getting re-assessed downwards, increasing the likelihood - doom doctor Nouriel Roubini thinks near certainty - that it will default. If it defaults the whole EU 700bn flood defence will get tested for the first time.
Then on top of that there are worries that China has peaked: that its stimulus is running out of steam. The Shanghai stock market is 4.25% down on the day, 28% down on the year. Commodity prices are falling on the assumption that Chinese demand will dip once more.
Finally there are the banks, and above all the European banks. The Bank for International Settlements warned yesterday that there is just a huge amount of unstabilised bad debt out there.
"The financial disruptions in the first half of 2010 have brought the fragility of the
industrial world's financial system into stark relief: a shock of virtually any size
risks a replay of the events we saw in late 2008 and early 2009. The sovereign
debt crisis in Greece is clearly jeopardising Europe's nascent recovery from
the deep recession brought on by the earlier crisis.
"Unlike then, however, we have hardly any room for manoeuvre. Policy
rates are already at zero and central bank balance sheets are bloated.
Although private sector debt has started to decline, public debt has taken its
place, with sovereign fiscal positions already on an unsustainable path in a
number of countries. In short, macroeconomic policy is in a vastly worse
position than it was three years ago, with little capacity to combat a new crisis
- it will be difficult to find a source of further treatment should another
emergency arise." (My emphasis)
The remedy according to the Basel banking bigwigs is: rapid fiscal austerity, keep the economy moving with monetary policy, rapid reform of global banking. However, that takes us back to where we started: the G20 showed no signs of urgency about global banking reform; passed a take-it-or-leave it communiqué about fiscal austerity vs growth and - with the ECB at any rate - monetary policy is being shifted towards removing liquidity.
Basically the world - and above all the Iberian peninsular, notwithstanding today's crunch game - has more to worry about than football.