Germany’s director at the European Central Bank has thrown his weight behind mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt to prevent the disintegration of the euro, marking a crucial turning point in the eurozone debt crisis.
“There’s no arrangement for any countries leaving the euro, which in current circumstances is probably inevitable,” Soros, 80, said at a panel discussion in Vienna yesterday on whether liberal democracy is at risk in Europe. “We are on the verge of an economic collapse which starts, let’s say, in Greece, but it could easily spread. The financial system remains extremely vulnerable.”
Euro zone finance ministers gave Greece two weeks from Monday to approve stricter austerity measures in return for another 12 billion euros in emergency loans, piling pressure on Athens to get its ragged finances in order.
European finance ministers meeting Sunday in Luxembourg moved toward approving a fresh quarterly installment of Greece's €110 billion ($157 billion) bailout loan, but they remained divided over the details of a far harder task—extending Greece a giant new package that would support it for years to come.
Greece's debt crisis may be contagious and poses one of the biggest risks to global financial markets alongside Middle East uprisings, Citigroup's Chief Risk Officer told Reuters.
Athenians used to stop off at Syntagma Square for the shopping, the shiny rows of upmarket boutiques. Now they arrive in their tens of thousands to protest. Swarming out of the metro station, they emerge into a village of tents, pamphleteers and a booming public address system.
I've hardly been alone, but that's no excuse. For more than a year now, I've been regularly predicting the euro crisis's final denouement, yet still it hasn't arrived.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2389:]]By John Mauldin
I am attending the Global Interdependence Center's latest conference here in Philadelphia, writing you from the Admiral's Club on my way to Boston. The chatter last night at dinner and between sessions was focused on the risks in Europe. I did an interview with Aaron Task on Yahoo's Daily Ticker, where I noted that European leaders are starting to use the word contained when they talk about Greece. Shades of Bernanke and subprime. This too will not be contained.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2418:]]In this dated clip, the staff favorite historian- Nial Ferguson takes on our staff favorite Kensian - Paul Krugman. What is so puzzling to us is how anyone can take the likes of Krugman seriously. If printing money created real wealth, than the likes of Zimbabwe would be at the top of the rich country list.
The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt.