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.

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.

China's Sinopec to Invest $7.1 Billion in Repsol Brazil

Sinopec Group (SHI), China%u2019s second-largest oil and gas producer, will invest $7.1 billion in Repsol%u2019s (REP) Brazilian unit. Sinopec will buy new shares in the Spanish company%u2019s Brazilian unit, giving the Chinese company a 40% stake, Bloomberg News said.

Google's Street View Banned in Czech Republic

Google's controversial Street View service, which has raised privacy concerns in countries around the world, got the heave-ho from the Czech Republic Tuesday after failing to file for the proper registration to operate in that country.

Bank of America Could Sell Some Non-Core Assets

Bank of America (BAC) is planning to highlight billions of dollars worth of assets that it intends to sell or wind down. The bank has told investors and analysts that it is considering disclosures on assets including loans, businesses and stakes that it considers non-core, The Financial Times reported without naming its sources. The non-core assets could be worth more than $100 billion.

Santander Buys HSBC U.S. Auto Finance Units for $3.56 Billion

HSBC Holdings (HBC) sold its last U.S. auto finance units to Spain%u2019s Santander (SA) for about $3.56 billion. Santander Consumer USA is also assuming $431 million in debt, The Associated Press reported. The Spanish bank is acquiring a loan book valued at $4.3 billion.

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.

U2 fined for rehearsing too loudly?

The city of Barcelona, Spain is fining Irish rockers U2 $22,000 for rehearsing too loudly and for too long. Seriously? Come on over to my back yard,...

Santander Restarts Talks With M&T Over Combining U.S. Operations

Spanish bank Santander (STD) has restarted talks with M&T Bank (MTB) about merging its U.S. operations with the regional bank, based in Buffalo, NY. The two had discussed a similar deal, but talks broke down in May over who would control the new, enlarged business, The Financial Times reported.

Telecom Giant Telefonica Buys Full Control of Brasilcel

Telefonica's months-long effort to acquire a controlling stake in Brazil's leading mobile phone company, Vivo, has ended with the Spanish telecom giant ponying up nearly $9.75 billion to acquire full ownership in Brasilcel, which owns 60% of Vivo, from Portugal Telecom.

Were the European Bank Stress Tests Too Easy?

Banking regulators tested the soundness of 91 European banks this week to see if they could withstand a financial crisis, and only seven failed to pass muster. But some analysts say the tests may have been too easy, and wonder what would happen if a real "worst-case scenario" hit.

Spain Sells 3 Billion Euros of Bonds, Easing Funding Concerns

Spain sold 3 billion euros ($3.8 billion) of 15-year bonds, easing worries that the nation would struggle to meet its debt obligations. Demand for the bonds was 2.57 the amount sold, Bloomberg News reported. The bonds yielded 5.116%, compared with 4.434% for a similar debt sale in April.

Maybe Europe's Economy Isn't So Broken After All

All eyes are on U.S. corporate earnings, but don't overlook what's going on across the Atlantic: The sovereign debt crisis is easing amid growing signs that an economic rebound may be taking shape in the European Union as well.

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 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.

Google's Privacy Woes Expand to Australia

Google's legal woes over privacy issues in Europe have expanded to Australia after residents in that country recently complained about photographs being taken for Google Maps.

Spain Takes the Spotlight From Greece

Investors are focusing on Spain instead of Greece now in Europe's evolving debt crisis. The Spanish debt-to-GDP ratio may be low, but its banking sector, hobbled by real estate debt while property prices are depressed, need a big overhaul.

Spain Cuts Government Pay, U.S. Raises It: Who's Right?

Among the steps Spain is taking to reduce its budget deficit are cutting government salaries, postponing pension increases, and dropping subsidies. The U.S. approach to its economic troubles? Spend more to jump start the economy. So - who should be taking lessons from whom?

Spain Outlines Plan to Slash Deficit

Spain will cut civil servants' salaries this year as part of a deficit-reduction plan to ease worries the country will slide into a debt crisis like that of Greece, the prime minister said Wednesday.

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.

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.

Can an EU-TARP Buffer the World From Europe's Crisis?

The financial crisis that started with overly indebted Greece is spreading rapidly to engulf Spain, Portugal, and European Union banks. The world may need a TARP-like rescue effort to contain Europe's contagion.

Europe Needs to Think Big About Its Bailout

Ratings downgrades for Spain, Portugal and Greece have alarmed already-rattled credit markets, sending borrowing costs sky-high. As contagion spreads, Europe's politicians need to stop dithering over the bailout and take dramatic steps to reassure markets.