eurozone

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: Debt Woes, Hedge Fund Regs

Politicians in both Greece and the U.S. are struggling to find the common ground necessary to keep their governments from defaulting on their debts; QE2 hasn't ended yet, and already the Fed is considering QE3; and the SEC finally starts to regulate Wall Street's hedge funds.

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.

Oil Falls as Worries About Europe Debt Crisis Continue

Concerns about the European financial crisis are still dragging down the price of oil. Benchmark crude for July delivery fell 32 cents to $92.69 per barrel in Monday midday trading. All eyes remain on Greece, which is trying to implement tough new austerity measures necessary to keep international aid coming.

The Financial Landscape: No Bailout Yet for Greece

The financial world Monday morning is focused on Greece. E.U. finance ministers postponed agreement on a bailout until they see proof that its government will follow through on austerity measures. Meanwhile, some big U.S. firms say that a generous tax break would help them expand their domestic operations.

Why the European Debt Crisis Is Far From Over

The European debt crisis is back: Portugal is in political turmoil, and may need a major bailout, and Spain may too. But the E.U.'s strong healthy are rebelling against propping up their weaker neighbors. The real issue, though, is that the E.U. hasn't yet addressed the fundamental flaw built into it at the euro's creation.

A Rising Dollar and Cooling China Will Pop the Commodities Bubble

The dollar is looking mighty attractive, thanks to a reviving U.S. economy and eurozone woes, and it will only get stronger as traders who gambled that it would fall buy dollars to unwind their bad bets. Add in China's desperate need to get its overheated economy in check, and commodities prices look like they have nowhere to go but down.

Best and Worst Global Stock Markets of 2010

The big national stock market winners of 2010 scored returns far above those of U.S. markets by piggybacking on China's ferocious growth. But rebounding American equities look mighty impressive next to the year's real losers: the victims of the eurozone debt crisis.

Sweden's Central Bank Is Fighting the Next Bubble

While most of the world's central banks are still fighting the last war, Sweden's Riksbank has moved on to the next one. Rather than looking at conventional inflation gauges, the world's oldest central bank is basing its actions on asset-price growth in an effort to prevent the next bubble.

Ireland's Credit Rating Downgraded 3 Notches by Fitch

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Ireland three notches from A to BBB , citing the costs of restructuring the Irish banking system, the country's weak growth prospects, and uncertainty about its economy due to the deepening financial crisis, despite the international economic assistance it received last month.

The E-Bond Is a Bold Idea, but the EU Is Too Timid

The notion that the EU could issue a eurozone-wide bond is probably the most sweeping proposal yet to relieve country debt problems. But the ad hoc measures Europe has been taking to put out fires are likely to remain the status quo. One big reason: Germany.

ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged; Markets Await Word from Trichet

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged for a 20th straight month. Officials at the ECB in Frankfurt left the benchmark lending rate unchanged at 1%, Bloomberg News reported. The move was widely forecast by analyst and economists.

Spain to Sell Stake in State Lottery as Debt Crisis Looms

With the fears of a European sovereign debt crisis growing worse, the Spanish government said Wednesday that it's taking several measures to stop the fiscal contagion from reaching its shores, including selling a 30% stake in its national lottery business, Bloomberg 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.

Buffett Warns That Euro Faces a 'Real Challenge'

The euro has posted its biggest quarterly gain in eight years, but billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett is worried about Europe's common currency. Despite the E.U.'s trillion-dollar bailout fund, he's not sure the Continent will be able to avert a sovereign debt meltdown.

Safe Haven No More: Swiss Franc Headed for Trouble

The Swiss franc has been the second-best performing major currency over the past six months, outpacing the dollar by 8.9% and the euro by 7.8%, thanks to shaky conditions elsewhere in Europe. But a broad range of signs suggest the Swiss currency is due for at least a short-term correction.

Reading the VIX: What the 'Fear Index' Is Saying Now

After spiking in May on dismay over Eurozone debt anxiety, the VIX has been trending generally downward, with any jumps being only short-lived. Another jump just occurred. The thing to watch now is if the VIX follows this recent pattern -- or not.

What the U.S. Could Learn from Europe's Recovery

Beyond Europe's debt crisis and difficulties with the euro, the region's underlying economy -- which has been much less involved with financial gimmicks than its American counterpart -- tends to be more stable than it's generally given credit for.

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%.

Want a Stronger Recovery? Learn From Europe

After the U.S. spent trillions to prop up reckless banks and spark a recovery, growth and employment are anemic -- while bankers rake in ever-bigger bonuses. Germany's recovery, meanwhile, seems stronger and more durable. And even Greece is in a better situation than the U.S.

Soros: German Budget Cuts Could Cause Euro Failure

Ahead of the G-20 summit in Toronto this weekend, billionaire investor George Soros is warning that Germany's policy of fiscal austerity is a danger to Europe that could destroy the euro and fracture the European Union.

European Central Bank President Trichet Warns EU Budget Slackers

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet issued a warning to EU member nations Monday, telling them that there will be penalties for countries that fail to follow the financial guidelines defined by the EU. Those penalties could include the loss of voting rights.

Weaker Euro Boosts Eurozone Exports

While most investors and analysts are focusing on the downsides of Europe's austerity moves and the euro's decline, they're missing the big upside: Exports are up, and a weaker euro should propel them higher, offsetting the dampened demand that will result from those unavoidable budget cuts.