FROM Daniel Gros
Is Italy's Economy Too Big to Fail, but Too Big to Bail Out? When it comes to the troubled economies of the Euro Zone, "contagion" is what economists, bankers, traders and political leaders fear most. Now the focus has shifted from Greece to Italy. Greece at least appears to be getting its economic act together, but Berlusconi's Italy is another matter. We hear about the billionaire Prime Minister who's promising to resign, and what Italy's potential bankruptcy could mean for the rest of the world.
Greece Has Been Scary Enough, Now There's Italy When it comes to the troubled economies of the Eurozone, "contagion" is what economists, bankers, traders and political leaders fear most. Now the focus has shifted from Greece to Italy. Greece now has a unity government led by a banking technocrat pledged to avoid bankruptcy, however unpopular austerity measures might be. Italy has an economy almost triple the size of Greece, Portugal and Ireland combined, with a massive debt it might not be able to pay. Its shaky economy is the creature of Prime Minister Berlusconi, one of the world's most colorful leaders. Will he really get out of the way? We get a taste of Italian politics today and hear what a national bankruptcy would mean for world markets and American banks.
G7 Finance Ministers to Gather to Discuss Global Financial Crisis Treasury Secretary Paulson said yesterday that governments around the world need to coordinate their actions so "the action of one country does not come at the expense of others or the stability of the system as a whole." Finance ministers from the industrialized West as well as China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia are coming to Washington in the next few days. They'll talk about interest rates, tax cuts, spending increases and the possibility of coordinating their efforts to restore confidence in the worldwide economy. But different countries face different problems, and they compete, especially with the US, which has been economically dominant for so long. We talk about hopes, as opposed to realities, as well as the decline of mutual trust and how it might be restored.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.