Who do you call when you want to speak to Europe? The question, long attributed to Henry Kissinger, has yet to be answered convincingly by the 27-country European Union.
Global News Journal
Never let it be said that the European Union doesn’t get things done.
It may have a slightly maddening way of going about it — last-minute, late-night summits, hours and hours of sweaty, closed-door negotiation, multiple conflicting plans put forward by the likes of the Finns, the Italians and, who knows, the Estonians – and then, hey presto, like the proverbial rabbit out of a hat, at 2 in the morning, a $1 trillion deal to haul the world back from the debt-crisis abyss. All in the name of European unity.
from Jason Subler:
My colleague Edmund Klamann offers this dispatch from the Shanghai World Expo:
Outdoors at the sprawling Shanghai World Expo site on opening day, ubiquitous loud-speakers warned the afternoon crowd of hundreds of thousands that the line to enter the German Pavilion was three hours long and they should visit other pavilions.
Credit rating agencies cannot win.
They were blamed for carelessness before the crisis, handing out over-generous ratings on the packets of mortgage-backed securities that subsequently unravelled, sending the global economy into a spin and leading to Lehman Brothers collapse. Now they are being criticised again, this time for being too cautious, by dishing out rating downgrades to countries in Europe being sucked into Greece’s debt crisis.
After five months of struggling to stay afloat in the quicksand of a debt crisis, Greece has finally asked the European Union and the IMF to throw it a lifeline.
The 16 countries that share the euro single currency have agreed they will help Greece out if it needs. So far so good. But only now is the nitty-gritty of how member states will go about paying for their contributions being hammered out. And suddenly things are getting a little complicated.
The surge in the spread of Greek bond yields over German ones since European leaders issued a promise of emergency loans to Greece last month indicates financial markets do not believe the pledge of euro zone support is anything more than a bluff.