EU

Eurozone Joblessness Rises to a Record 12%

Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999, official figures show.

Greek Default Sets Record: No Problem, Says Bernanke!

On Friday, Greece reached a deal to "restructure" its national debt downward by about $133 billion. That's the biggest sovereign restructuring in world history. But don't worry. According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, it's no big deal for the U.S.

The Financial Landscape: Is Italy the Next Greece?

As the eurozone sovereign debt crisis continues, focus is shifting to Italy as the next potential victim. But for worries closer to home, consider this: $37 billion in U.S. government benefits designed to help people through the downturn will expire by the end of 2011, leaving a hole twice that size in the economy.

Renting Relics: An Offbeat Fix for Greek Debt Woes

Greece is in debt, in trouble, and its people are rebelling against austerity measures. But it's not without resources: What could the government in Athens get if it leased the Parthenon? Or naming rights to the Acropolis? Sacrilege, perhaps -- but when you really need the money...

The Financial Landscape: Gas Is Falling; Euro is Failing

Even before the International Energy Agency and the White House announced they were releasing billions of gallons or oil from fuel reserves, gas prices were falling. In the past two weeks, a gallon is down more than 11 cents. Also falling -- hopes for the euro, and the outlook for U.S. Treasury bonds.

The Financial Landscape: Big Pharma Wins; So Does Greece

It's a good day to be a drugmaker after two pro-business Supreme Court rulings favored the industry. And it's an even better day for those who are counting on the EU bailing out Greece. But the folks at Google may want to search for "defense lawyers" -- they may be seeing subpoenas shortly.

The Financial Landscape: SEC Fines JPM Over CDOs

The news across the financial world is good for unions, which will find organizing a bit easier; adequate for Greece, which will find getting bailed out a bit easier, and bitter for JPMorgan which had to accept a $153.6 million SEC fine for misleading investors about a mortgage securities transaction.

Investors May Need Better Reasons to Buy Stocks

Given all that transpired globally over the Thanksgiving weekend, the idea of holding risky assets like stocks should give investors heartburn. A good Black Friday weekend and strong holiday selling season will draw traders' gazes, but that's no sure shot.

Ireland's Credit Rating Cut by Standard & Poor's

Ireland%u2019s credit rating was lowered two notches by Standard & Poor%u2019s, as the country prepares to offer a four-year budget aimed at slashing the deficit. "The Irish government looks set to borrow over and above our previous projections to fund further bank capital injections into Ireland%u2019s troubled banking system," S&P said, according to Bloomberg News.

Greece Cleared to Receive Next Batch of Rescue Loans

Greece received the green light for the next installment of its 110 billion euro ($150 billion) bailout package. Representatives of the IMF, ECB and EU said they were recommending that the country receive the third batch of loans under the program, The Associated Press said. The loans are worth 9 billion euros.

Ireland Deal: Euro-Politics Plays a Major Role

Investors should stay focused on the dynamics within European politics that shaped the rescue. Other indebted economies -- like Spain, Portugal and Italy -- could find themselves in a similar situation, after all. And politics will again guide market moves.

Ireland to Overhaul Banking Sector as Part of Rescue Package

Ireland officially applied for a rescue package worth tens of billions of dollars from the EU and IMF in a bid to stabilize its banking system and avoid economic meltdown. The exact value of the rescue package isn%u2019t clear. Goldman Sachs Group (GS) estimated that it may total 95 billion euros, ($135 billion), Bloomberg News reported.

Can China Control an Overheating Economy?

As if the Irish debt crisis weren't enough, investors are worried once again about rising inflation in China. But officials in Beijing are quietly building an impressive record of economic management, and some analysts are convinced they can meet the latest challenge.

Eurozone Growth Slows as Austerity Takes Its Toll

Economic growth in the eurozone slowed sharply in the third quarter as austerity measures aimed at cutting budget deficits dented the Continent's recovery. Meanwhile, a growing divergence in the economic performance of EU nations is likely to make it tough for the European Central Bank to set its monetary policy.

BMW Allegedly Blocked Car Sales to Swiss Citizens

Swiss antitrust authorities are investigating BMW for allegedly blocking vehicle sales to Swiss citizens in some parts of Europe. The Swiss Competition Commission said it has information that BMW distribution branches in the European Economic Area are barring sales of BMW and Mini brand vehicles to Swiss citizens, Bloomberg News said.

AstraZeneca, Pozen Near E.U. Approval for Arthritis Drug

AstraZeneca and Pozen announced Monday that their pain reliever Vimovo for the treatment of arthritis had received positive agreement for approval by the 23 E.U. nations. Vimovo is a combination drug that reduces the risk of ulcers for frequent NSAID users.

European Economic Growth Beats Expectations

A strong German economic performance helped drive better-than-expected second-quarter growth in the euro zone. The combined GDP of the currency zone%u2019s 16 countries grew 1% from the first quarter, The Wall Street Journal said. That%u2019s the strongest quarterly performance since 2006, and easily beat the 0.7% forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

Rebuilding Greece: 'Strong Start,' but Miles Still to Go

The EU and the IMF have issued a glowing report card on Greece's reform efforts, but it's clear the country is hardly out of economic danger. Among the threats: Falling GDP, rising prices and the possibility of spiraling into ever-deeper budget cuts to offset falling tax revenue.

Greece Made 'Strong Start' to Austerity Measures, Delegation Says

Greece has made a "strong start" in its austerity program and is on course to receive a 9 billion euro ($11.8 billion) installment of emergency loans, a joint European and IMF delegation said. The Greek government is ahead of schedule in many areas as it battles to reduce its debt levels and budget deficit, the statement from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank delegation said.

Moody's Cuts Portugal's Rating as Debt Soars

Portugal, one of the countries at the heart of the European debt crisis, had its bonds downgraded by Moody's Investors Services Tuesday. The ratings agency warned that the Lisbon government's financial strength will continue to weaken because of heavy indebtedness.

European Central Bank Keeps Rates Low

It may be because of the slowing European economy, the drive for austerity by the continent's national governments, or planned tax increases. But whatever the reasons, the European Central Bank said Thursday it would hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 1%.

Will EU Limits on Banker Bonuses Reduce Risk?

Europe's parliament on Wednesday approved world's toughest limits on bankers' bonuses, a move likely to fuel demands for similar curbs in the United States. But are these measures enough to limit excessive risk-taking at too-big-to-fail financial institutions and avert another meltdown?