As Europe works toward bringing Greece back from the edge of default, the United States is trying to puzzle out how good of a partner we want to be to the eurozone. Lael Brainard, the Treasury's top international diplomat, told the Senate banking committee yesterday that the International Monetary Fund doesn't need an infusion of cash from the U.S. in order to create a buffer from whatever may happen with Greece and the other European economies. “The challenge Europe faces is within the capacity of the Europeans to manage,” she said. The IMF is trying to amass $500 billion for a safety lending fund in case Europe takes a turn for the worse, and with the U.S. sitting out and only $196 billion pledged from the eurozone, the organization is turning to emerging markets to make up the difference. Even without Brainard's caution, the Obama administration would likely shy away from giving billions to Europe during an election year overshadowed by domestic economic problems.
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