Work Life Essay

875 WordsOct 25, 20124 Pages
European debt crisis is the shorthand term for Europe’s struggle to pay the debts it has built up in recent decades. Five of the region’s countries – Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and Spain – have, to varying degrees, failed to generate enough economic growth to make their ability to pay back bondholders the guarantee it was intended to be. Although these five were seen as being the countries in immediate danger of a possible default, the crisis has far-reaching consequences that extend beyond their borders to the world as a whole. In fact, the head of the Bank of England referred to it as “the most serious financial crisis at least since the 1930s, if not ever,” inOctober011. This is one of most important problems facing the world economy, but it is also one of the hardest to understand. Below is a Q&A to help familiarize you with the basics of this critical issue. The global economy has experienced slow growth since the U.S. financial crisis of 2008-2009, which has exposed the unsustainable fiscal policies of countries in Europe and around the globe. Greece, which spent heartily for years and failed to undertake fiscal reforms, was one of the first to feel the pinch of weaker growth. When growth slows, so do tax revenues – making high budget deficits unsustainable. The result was that the new Prime Minister George Papandreou, in late 2009, was forced to announce that previous governments had failed to reveal the size of the nation’s deficits. In truth, Greece’s debts were so large that they actually exceed the size of the nation’s entire economy, and the country could no longer hide the problem. nvestors responded by demanding higher yields on Greece’s bonds, which raised the cost of the country’s debt burden and necessitated a series of bailouts by the European Union and European Central Bank (ECB). The markets also began driving up bond yields in the other

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