Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eurozone ministers meet amid fears of euro breakup


BRUSSELS (AP) — Eurozone finance ministers are streaming into Brussels on Tuesday in a desperate bid to save the 17-nation euro currency — and to protect Europe, the United States, Asia and the rest of the global economy from a debt-induced financial tsunami.

Most officials agree that, in the race to save the euro, there is no time to lose, but all of a sudden it seems there are more leaks in the dike than there are fingers.

And it's not just a currency used by 332 million people that is at stake. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others have said, if the euro fails, so too does the 27-nation European Union, a rousing diplomatic success that united a continent ripped apart by two World Wars.

If the Euro fails, bank lending would freeze, stock markets would likely crash, and Europe's economies would crater. Nations in the eurozone could see their economic output fall temporarily by as much as 50 percent, according to UBS forecasters. The financial and economic pain would spread west and east as the U.S. and Asia get ensnared in the credit freeze and their exports to Europe collapse.

In all, it's a scenario far more dire than even the devastating 2008 credit crunch after the U.S. mortgage debacle. Learn More...

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