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5 Ways Europe's Woes Will Hit Your Finances in 2012

By most indications, the U.S. economy is recovering fairly well for the time being. But across the Pond in Europe, another story is unfolding that has the stock market worried -- and it should have your attention, too.

6 Key Money Lessons of 2011: What We've Learned

At this time last year, maybe you thought the economy would be a bit more gracious by now. No such luck. But as we reflect on the year that was, here are six financial lessons that 2011 taught us all.

5 Financial Turkeys of 2011 (and a Side of Stuffing)

At Thanksgiving, we remember the year's blessings and declare hope for the future. But if you're having a hard time swallowing that this year, we offer this recipe for cooking up 2011's most egregious financial news stories. Bon appetite!

As Italian Drama Persists, Small Businesses Worry

The Atlantic Ocean is wide, but maybe not wide enough. On Thursday, markets had a mixed reaction to the deepening economic crisis in Europe. Some sources reported that the European Central Bank would step in. But in the U.S., small business owners are growing nervous.

Obama: World Economic Recovery on 'Firmer Footing'

Conceding a fragile global recovery and plodding job growth back home, President Barack Obama said Friday he is confident European leaders are fixing their ominous debt crisis that threatens to undermine the United States and his own shot at a second term.

It's Europe's Fault: They're Holding Back the Recovery

Many European nations have deficits that make the U.S. look thrifty, and over a year after their problems came to light, they're still holding the worldwide recovery back. But because they share the euro, normal solutions aren't available, which means the EU must bite the bullet and accept an orderly default, or watch matters spiral downward.

Why Slovakia Is Making Markets Hold Their Breath

Tiny Slovakia looked set on Tuesday to reject the expanded eurozone bailout upon which global investors were pinning their hopes -- and at this moment, the Slovak Parliament could veto the Continent's plan for economic salvation. How did it it come to this, and what could happen next?

Financial Landscape: Post-Recession Blues; Qwikster Nixed

American household incomes have fallen more since the recession ended than they fell during it, a new study reveals; EU leaders say they have a plan to solve the sovereign debt crisis; and Netflix has declared its big Qwikster plan dead on arrival.

Eastern Europe Gets All Shook Up Over '50s-Style Diners

The world's fourth Elvis-themed restaurant is scheduled to open in a mall in Georgia this year. But not in the Peach State in the heart of the Dixie -- the Elvis American Diner is in the Republic of Georgia. Seems that in the former Soviet Union, the King and 1950s Americana are considered pretty nifty.

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...

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.

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.

Why Japan Is Rushing to Aid Europe: It's All About China

World markets got a boost this week from Japan's pledge to help overly indebted EU nations. What's behind Japan's move? Sure, the spirit of global cooperation is part of it. But much more significant is Tokyo's need to keep pace with Beijing in the influence game.

Wall Street May Be a Casualty of Debt-Ceiling War

Debt and government spending are firmly at the top of the new Congress's agenda. Just the threat that the U.S. wouldn't pay its bills has traders worried and wondering if the U.S. could end up on the same chaotic economic path taken by Greece or Spain.

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.

How Bad Could Ireland Get? See Iceland

Despite widespread anxiety about the Greek debt crisis last summer, global markets recovered with minimum damage. Now, investors facing another crisis in Ireland may be tempted to draw a comforting lesson from the Greek experience. But it may not be that simple.

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.

Dow Dives 178 Points on Fears China May Hike Rates

The Dow tumbled Tuesday 178 points, or 1.6%, to close at 11,024 as part of a global sell-off in stocks fueled by further speculation that China will hike interest rates to fight inflation and renewed worries over the wobbly finances of Ireland, Portugal and Greece.

Ireland in Crisis Talks With EU Over Bailout

Ireland headed into a confrontation Tuesday with leaders of the European Union and other struggling members of the eurozone on whether to seek a financial bailout as jitters continued to disrupt the continent's financial markets.

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.

Greece: A Lesson in Overblown Market 'Crises'

To hear the pundits tell it, Greece's debt woes and accompanying civil disturbances signaled the end of the euro, or worse. Yet, the country's rebound gets little attention. This pattern gets repeated over and over, much to investors' detriment.

China Promises Continued Support for Europe

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said his country will support European bonds and the euro currency. "I have made clear that China supports a stable euro," he said, according to BBC News.

European Commission Unveils Planned Debt Rules

The European Commission presented plans to punish countries whose excessive debt levels pose a potential risk to the euro. The proposals include automatic fines for countries that mismanage their finances and economies, BBC News said.

In Greece, the Battle Between Austerity and Labor Deepens

Greece's budget cutting has caused widespread strikes that have lead to shutdowns of parts of the public and business sectors. Prime Minister Papandreou now says the cuts are sufficient, but that announcement didn't assuage the unions.

Europe's Debt Crisis: Here We Go Again?

Europe's shakiest economies managed to ride out a sovereign debt crisis this spring with a lot of help from their more stable neighbors and the major central banks. But with global recovery faltering, the data coming out of Europe suggests we may soon see a replay of the debt default crisis.

Greek Economy Shrank 1.5% in Second Quarter

Greece%u2019s economy shrank 1.5% in the second quarter of the year as the government%u2019s austerity program bites. The country%u2019s statistics agency Elstat said the "significant reduction" in public spending contributed to the worsening recession, BBC News reported. The economy contracted 0.8% in the first quarter.

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.