The Worst is Over?

Fears that the euro crisis will cross the Atlantic have started to ease after European leaders took precautions to stave off default in Greece and shore up other ailing economies. “In the past few months, financial stresses in Europe have lessened, which has contributed to an improved tone of financial markets around the world, including in the United States,” said Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner agreed: “The European economies at the center of the crisis have made very significant progress.”

That doesn't mean the global economy is all sunshine and daisies, though. The eurozone's economy contracted at the end of 2011, and weak growth there has resulted in depressed growth here too. Also, the situation in  Spain is growing more precarious by the day, with one investor saying “it has replaced Italy as the lightning rod." Despite the ever-present risks, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi still says "The worst is over," but given the economic rollercoaster of the past few years, the statement doesn't inspire confidence.

 

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