Are the Germans Going to Crash the World Economy?

As Greece squeezes by without a “Grexit” — earlier this week eurozone ministers approved a four-month bailout extension— markets, politicians, pundits are far calmer today than they were a few years ago. Back then, in the fall of 2011, the prospect of a eurozone without Greece sent global markets into turmoil. Granted, it was bad year, what with a near-U.S. debt default and pervasive fears of a European Monetary Union undone by mountains of bad bank debt. By late November 2011, international credit markets were exhibiting the same danger signs of stress that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, and it appeared that the long-feared next stage of a global financial implosion was at hand. It took the simultaneously actions of the world’s central banks, followed by a “final” bailout of Greece by the “troika” of the IMF, the European Central Bank and the Eurozone countries to the tune of 240 billion Euros.

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Don’t Turn America Into Europe

The Europeans—some of them, anyway—are finally beginning to concede that austerity has gone awry. There’s less growth, more structural unemployment, little bank lending and economic contraction. And now, of course, we have a political backlash in the person of Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s Syriza party, who upon winning the prime ministership last Sunday declared grandly (and probably over-optimistically) that Greece will now “leave behind the austerity that ruined it.”

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Election Shows Greece Unlikely to Cause Financial Meltdown, Despite Gloom and Doom

The eyes of the financial world were on Greece once again this weekend, as the Hellenes went to the polls for the second time in six weeks. It’s fair to say that the world hasn’t been this focused on Greece for more than 2,000 years, and the ability of this nation of 11 million people to hold the world in thrall is, on the face of it, rather extraordinary.

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Economic News We’re Thankful For This Thanksgiving

As we turn to Thanksgiving, let us a pause for a moment and take a time-out from the storm of gloom that has descended across this land and so many others. If you pay even passing attention to politics, to the economy, to Wall Street, or to public sentiment, you know the mood is bleak. The litany of woes is well known—ranging from a sclerotic and debt-plagued Europe to a dysfunctional Congress to a possibly slowing China to high unemployment and widespread dissatisfaction with an economic system of uneven rewards. It is enough to make Agnewesque nattering nabobs of negativism proud.

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Europe’s Economic Crisis: Could Default in Greece, Eurozone Sink Us?

As Americans fixate on the battle for the Republican presidential nominationand the continuing travails of the U.S. economy, the real story in financial land is what is happening in Europe. The issues aren’t new: concerns over the contagion of a default of Greek debt, or Irish or Portuguese or Italian, have been percolating for more than a year and a half. But there is a definite sense of late that these issues are potentially spinning out of control.

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Markets Spooked by S&P Downgrade but Have No Alternative to U.S.-led System

And the beat goes on. Global markets have begun to digest the fallout from Standard & Poor’s scurrilous downgrade of American sovereign debt, and equity markets in Asia and Europe opened lower. Odd pockets of perceived safety rallied, like Swiss francs, and of course gold soared, as investors attempted to win the game of musical chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

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