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.

Greece Successfully Sells 1.25 Billion Euro of Bonds

Greece raised 1.25 billion euro ($1.57 billion) of bonds, its first debt auction since taking international bailout loans. The sale of 26-week treasury bills was oversubscribed 3.64 times, the Associated Press reported. The yield on the bonds was 4.65%.

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.

Greece Takes First Step Towards Pension Overhaul

Greece took a step towards overhauling its ailing public finances by giving preliminary approval for a bill that would increase the retirement age and cut benefits. The new law sets a retirement age of 65 for both men and women, and reduces payouts by basing pensions on lifetime income, rather than final salary, The New York Times reported. Currently, many Greeks can retire before they are 50.

Greece May Sell or Lease Islands to Ease Debt Problems

Squeezed by a debt crisis, Greece may put some of its islands up for sale or long-term lease to raise cash for the government's ailing finances, according to the Guardian. Chinese and Russian investors are reportedly interested.

Fed Faces Big Dilemma Amid Weak Economy

When the Federal Reserve ends a two-day meeting today, most economists will be looking for hints about when interest rates may start to move higher. But the Fed may have a more serious problem: what to do about deflation when rates can't go any lower.

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.

Greek Debt Cut to Junk Status

Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded Greece's government bond ratings into "junk" territory, citing the risks in the rescue package for the debt-ridden country from the Eurozone and International Monetary Fund.

Some Hopeful Factors in May's Ugly Job Report

Investors wouldn't know it from the brutal sell-off in the markets Friday, but the May jobs report released at the end of last week offered more hopeful signs than it is getting credit for. The crises in Europe and the logistics of the census are masking numbers deserving of optimism.

Euro Woes Are Blinding Investors to Opportunities

Just a few months ago, the currency everyone loved to hate was the dollar. Now, the euro is feeling the heat of short-sellers and pessimists. But the gloom around Europe's common currency is seriously overblown.

Europe to Set Up Fund Stopping Greek Crisis' Spread

Eurozone leaders plan to create a financial facility to defend the euro and lower the interest rates its weaker economies pay for sovereign debt. As turmoil grips world markets, the politicians pledge to set up the firewall against contagion before Asian markets reopen on Monday.

Greece Under Attack From the Bond Vigilantes

As the bond vigilantes attack Greece, the European Union is preparing an emergency stabilization package to resolve the sovereign debt crisis. But he world's central banks must help involved too.

German Lawmakers Approve Greek Rescue

German lawmakers on Friday approved the country's share of the rescue package for debt-laden Greece after a boisterous debate in which the finance minister told them they had no alternative to the unpopular measure.

Rumors Swirl as Market Plunges on Debt Fears

Amid a market growing increasingly paranoid about Europe's debt crisis, errors -- either human or mechanical -- were pointed to as potential reasons for Thursday afternoon's stock market plunge. But a more deliberate force could also be at work as investors short the markets and the euro sought to take advantage of the mounting alarm about Europe's situation.

Greek Airports Closed Due to Strike

Flights to and from Greece are grounded and the Acropolis is draped with protest banners as hundreds of thousands of workers rally for a second straight day against austerity measures the government hopes can save the country from bankruptcy.

Greece Seals the Deal, Finally, But What's Next?

The aid package to bail out Greece hardly ends its problems. The country's debt is over 100% of GDP, and the national deficit was 13.6% of GDP last year. The major concern is that Greece's citizens won't accept what's expected to be $40 billion in budget cuts over three years.

What America Would Be Without More Borrowing

Have some pity for the Greeks. The budget cuts imposed for an EU/IMF financial bailout are so severe, citizens are rioting in the streets. If the U.S. had to undergo comparable austerity, would we be able to cut $953 billion of our budget to meet a debt level of just 3% of GDP?

If the IMF Bails Out Europe, Who'll Bail Out the IMF?

The fund probably doesn't have the resources to bail out Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. Which begs the question -- who rescues the IMF if it needs more stabilization funds to put out another fire? You guessed it: The U.S. is at the top of that list.

Greek Deficit Is Worse Than Expected, Debt Downgraded

Eurostat, the Luxembourg-based statistical agency for the European Union, revised its deficit forecast for Greece to 13.6% of gross domestic product, up from 12.9%. Also on Thursday, Moody's Investor Services downgraded its rating on Greece's sovereign debt and warns that further downgrades could be in the offing. The credit ratings agency says that the reduction in its rating to A3 from A2 is based on the view that there is a significant risk that the country's debt may only stabilize at a higher and more costly level than previously thought.

Worries Over the Greek Debt Crisis Hurt the Euro

The U.S. dollar continued to strengthen early Wednesday as the euro faltered on renewed concerns over the Greek debt crisis. Even so, the inverse correlation between stocks and the dollar seems to have run its course, analysts say.

A Rough Road Ahead for the Eurozone

Eurozone nations led by France and Germany have produced a plan to bail out Greece should the need arise, calming markets late this past week. Although the immediate problem has been addressed, Europe still faces the possibility of a long period of stagnant growth.

For U.S. Investors, Greece Matters More Than You MIght Think

Why should U.S. investors care about Greece? Many reasons. Lack of stabilization in the country could hurt Europe's, slowing U.S. exports to the region. A crisis would also decrease investor confidence in the euro-zone and the euro currency.

Euro Nations Deliver Greece Rescue Plan

Countries that use the euro said Thursday they have agreed on a financial backstop for Greece that would combine loans from other eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund, a move aimed at stopping the government debt crisis that has undermined the shared currency.