European debt crisis

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A few years ago I'd have to pay someone for this infomrtaion.

After an emergency bailout session took place in Brussels, Belgium July 21, 2011, European leaders are fretting over the economic health of two larger countries with a lot more at stake: Italy and Spain. The European Central Bank pulled up emergency contingencies to prevent debt contagion. A 6-month tender will allow European banks unlimited borrowing capacity for six months to ensure fiscal stability as Italy and Spain's debt threatens the eurozone economy. The Securities Market Program has also been activated, a program in which banks buy back government bonds.


[edit] Recent developments

In a landmark case Wednesday, September 7 Germany’s highest court gave the parliament an increased role in overseeing euro bailout packages, which may slow down efforts to respond quickly to hard-hit euro-zone countries. The case also ruled out common bonds, which some favored as a way to cut debt.

A new plan increases the role of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in handling the euro debt crisis by raising funds to 440 billion euros or $635 billion and giving it more powers. The Bundestag vote on September 29 in Germany would allow ratification of the EFSF if passed.

[edit] What is the European debt crisis?

The European sovereign debt crisis dates back to late 2009, involving members of the eurozone community at risk of defaulting on government loans. The debt crisis continued to intensify in 2010 and during the summer of 2011 with refinancing and management of Greek's severe debt through austerity measures.

[edit] Euro-zone summit in Brussels

Read more: Euro-zone summit in Brussels

European leaders gathered for the second round of debt crisis talks in Brussels Thursday, July 21, 2011 to address the European debt crisis. Among the top issues on the agenda include finding options on rescuing Greece while preventing other at-risk countries such as Italy and Spain from spiraling further into debt. Proposals include a bond-exchange program and bank taxes.

[edit] Euro Fiscal Integration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy said they would look into creating a leadership position whose responsibility it would be to head the euro zone. While there is still resistance to transitioning into a federation of states similar to the U.S., increased economic governance is becoming a key aspect of solving the euro zone’s debt woes.

Growing pressure to create a common financial policy has become part of the debate in solving the European debt crisis. Investors in particular are urging euro leaders to consider joint bonds as the European stock market has dropped in recent days to two-year lows. After returning from a three-week vacation, Merkel resisted the pressure for a common bond Sunday August 21, 2011, stating that it was not appropriate at a time when various countries have yet to resolve their own debt problems. Merkel emphasized that financial markets should not dictate policy.

[edit] Terminology

European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF): EU's bailout fund worth 440 billion euros. [1]

European Central Bank (ECB)

select default: "the term used by rating agencies to describe when terms of a bond such as the repayment deadline or interest rate have been altered. It falls short of an outright default, which usually occurs when the borrower stops making payments" [2]

Marshall Plan: Historical reference used in current talks for parallel efforts. The Marshall Plan was a U.S. aid program to help Europe's economy after World War II.

[edit] Implications

The EU faces a destabilized economy and contagion of the debt crisis to other members if the issue is not resolved. This could in return affect global financial markets.

The euro rose in value over the dollar to $1.4212 late Wednesday July 20, 2011 as new packages for bailout were in progress. [3]

[edit] See also

Economy of Greece
Economy of Ireland
Economy of Italy
Economy of Portugal
Economy of Spain

[edit] Sources

Ben Rooney. "EU summit on Greece: High stakes, few options." CNN Money. July 21, 2011.

Gabriele Parussini and William Horobin. "Pressure mounts on Greece meeting." Wall Street Journal. July 20, 2011.

Howard Schneider. "European leaders agree to new Greek rescue plan." Washington Post. July 21, 2011.

James G. Neuger. "EU may use bailout fund for emergency credit". Bloomberg. July 20, 2011.

Jonathan Stearns and Simon Kennedy. "Euro-Area Leaders May Accept Greek Default." Bloomberg. July 21, 2011.

Ian Traynor. "Eurozone leaders draw up radical plan to safeguard euro." The Guardian. July 21, 2011.

Patricia Kowsmann and Costas Paris. "Euro-zone proposes fund overhaul." Wall Street Journal. July 21, 2011.

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