European and US Economies at the Tipping Point?
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Europe's debt crisis is causing financial ripples all over the world, and elected leaders are trying to prevent a tidal wave. Will Germany bail out Greece and maybe Italy, too? If not, what’s in store for the US and the global economy? Also, Wall Street reacts with optimism ahead of Obama's job package, and wildfires in Texas and the Governor's presidential campaign.
Banner image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to speak during debates over the federal budget while Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (L) and Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler chat at the Bundestag on September 7, 2011 in Berlin. Merkel argued for an extension of the EFSF, the European mechanism for helping European Union member states in times of financial crisis, and said: 'Should the Euro fail, then Europe fails.' Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Wall Street Reacts with Optimism ahead of Obama's Job Package ()
Republican candidates will be debating tonight in California, as the nation waits for President Obama's speech on jobs to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night. Early today, stocks rose, reportedly on news that he'll propose a $300 billion package. Ezra Klein is staff reporter and blogger at the Washington Post.
Economics and Politics in the Euro Zone ()
It's not just Greece any more but larger countries facing an economic crisis. If they can't pay their debts, the big fear is collapse of a major financial institution. With Italy's national debt at 120% of gross domestic product, last week Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced sweeping austerity measures. The reaction was a national strike on Tuesday that shut down public transportation and air travel. Today, Berlusconi re-vamped his plan and called for a confidence vote in the Parliament. Like the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, such a collapse could set off a global chain reaction and another recession with drastic consequences here in the US. Italians don't like austerity measures, Germans don't want to bail them out, and elected leaders in 17 countries are struggling to figure out what to do. US investors are cutting back on exposure to Europe, which could make things worse. We get updates from several countries.
- Sylvia Poggioli: National Public Radio
- Michael Burda: Humboldt University of Berlin
- Nick Malkoutzis: Kathimerini, @NickMalkoutzis
- Daniel Gross: Yahoo Finance, @grossdm
- Bronwen Maddox: Prospect magazine
The Texas Wildfires and Political Issues They Raise ()
A summer of drought has led to one of the most devastating wildfires in the history of Texas. Some 170 fires have erupted during the past week. The worst is in Bastrop County near Austin, where almost 800 homes have been destroyed, thousands have been evacuated and at least four people have died. The White House says seven federal grants have been approved to help with the outbreaks. Erica Grieder, Austin-based correspondent for The Economist, updates the situation and discusses the political consequences for Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry.
- Erica Grieder: The Economist
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