Entries in Debt Crisis (11)


Wall Street on Edge as Markets React to French, Greek Elections

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investors on Wall Street could be in for a rough day on Monday as the market reacts to elections results out of Greece and France.  Stock futures were down ahead of the opening bell.

On Sunday, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande defeated French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the country's presidential elections and vowed to shift how the debt crisis there was being handled.

"Austerity can no longer be the only option for Europe," Hollande said Sunday in his acceptance speech in reference to Sarkozy’s policies to cut government spending.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece also cast new doubts on Europe's ability to fix its debt crisis.

After months of violent anti-austerity rioting, many Greek voters ditched the two parties that have led the country for decades, supporting austerity and securing European bailout funds.

According to the exit polls, the radical leftwing party Syriza has made strong gains and the far-right Golden Dawn party has won enough votes to enter parliament. This puts the Greek austerity plan in jeopardy, and, consequently, the Euro zone and global markets.

Already overseas, stocks have reacted poorly to the news.  European and Asian markets were down on Monday.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Tom Coburn’s New Book Warns of Economic Crisis

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The leading Republican budget hawk in the Senate, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK., is coming out Tuesday with a new book that provides a harsh critique of Congress and a dire warning for the future economic situation of the nation.

The picture Coburn paints in his new book, The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America, is not a rosy one of the state of the U.S. Congress.  He lambasts the upper chamber as a body that is “heavily sedated” and calls for 90 percent of unproductive members to be fired.

“Congress today is a stagnant pond that needs to be drained and refilled with a steady stream of new public servants,” he writes, according to excerpts provided to ABC News in advance of release.  “I’m a fan of the Jack Welch principle in reverse for Congress … fire 90 percent of members every election and only keep the 10 percent who were productive.”

Coburn says that the “root of almost all that ails Washington,” is careerism.

“Careerism is the dark matter of the political universe.  It is the unseen force that bends decisions, and character, in ways that defy common sense and obvious explanations,” he writes.  "If members of Congress knew their current term would be their last, I have no doubt we could defuse the debt bomb within a matter of days … Bridging the gap between conservatives and liberals is easy compared to bridging the gap between courage and cowardice. ”

Coburn has himself spent 13 years in Congress. He was first elected to the House in 1995 as a 48-year-old doctor, and served three two-year terms before declining to run for a fourth.  He was elected to the Senate a few years later in 2004.

Coburn says that the federal debt is now so out of control that doing nothing “is a recipe for mutually assured destruction,” for both parties, which will represent “real betrayal and the heresy” to their constituents.

He says the fiscal threat is greater to the nation, in no uncertain terms, than any foreign army or terrorist network.

The senator refers to the situation facing the nation as, the namesake of his book, a “debt bomb” that is in dire need of being diffused.

As a former doctor, Coburn provides a harsh prognosis.  He says that if America were his patient, “I would tell her she had a 100 percent chance of experiencing a major cardiac event -- a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke -- if she failed to take immediate steps to get healthy.”

Getting “healthy” for the nation means getting control of the nation’s debts, he writes.  Coburn warns that the nation will face a debt crisis within two years if a long-term deficit reduction plan is not enacted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Markets Closed; German Business Confidence Rises

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. markets are closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday but world markets have edged higher.

There's speculation that China might ease its monetary policy and that is easing fears Germany's strong economy may be succumbing to Europe's debt crisis. Benchmark oil was hovering over 96 dollars a barrel, while the dollar fell against the euro and the yen.

A closely watched survey shows German business confidence rose unexpectedly this month, despite the lingering European debt crisis. It breaks a trend of four months of falling business confidence.

Global markets were spooked Wednesday by the poor results at an auction of German debt -- with only 60 percent demand -- and by news the Dow fell for a sixth straight day.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Oil Prices Rise: Good Sign for Global Economy?

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If oil prices are any indicator, the global economy could be making a turn for the better.

Crude oil rose to a three-month high on Friday, now hovering around $98 a barrel.  Moreover, crude is up 30 percent in a little more than a month.

The stronger demand for energy is a key economic indicator.  Investors are growing more hopeful that Europe will be able to keep its debt problems from creating an international crisis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Overseas Markets Down Ahead of European Debt Statement

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Worries over Europe's debt crisis are continuing to bring global stock markets down Thursday, as leaders in the region ready to make a major statement on the ordeal this weekend.

Euro zone leaders are expected to present a deal to help the countries pull out of their financial woes at a summit in Brussels on Sunday, but confusion still remains on the bailout package for Greece and attempts to contain the crisis from spreading to other parts of Europe.

The uncertainty caused European stocks to drop Thursday and played a part in Asian ones closing lower.

South Korea’s Kospi plummeted 2.74 percent, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 1.94 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.78 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.63 percent, and Japan's Nikkei index lost 1.03 percent.

Over in the U.S., Wall Street is projected to have a higher opening on Thursday after a day of losses.  Stock futures are up after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 72 points on Wednesday, and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 dropped 53 points and 16 points, respectively.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Markets Driven by European Debt Crisis; US Stock Futures Up

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The debt crisis in Europe continues to drive markets around the world as worries mount over a bailout plan to save Greece from defaulting.

On Wednesday, Wall Street snapped earlier gains after German Chancellor Angela Merkel hinted that a second bailout package for Greece may have to be reworked.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 180 points, the Nasdaq fell 55 and the S&P 500 lost 24.

Asian markets followed in Wall Street's shaky footsteps Thursday, closing mixed amid uncertainty over Europe's financial standing.  South Korea's Kospi and Japan's Nikkei index rose -- 2.68 percent and 0.99 percent, respectively -- while China's Shanghai Composite shed 1.12 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.77 percent.

With Thursday's approval by Germany's lower house of parliament to boost powers for the euro-zone rescue fund, U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher opening on Thursday.

European markets also reacted well to the news, trading higher ahead of closing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Another Choppy Week in the Works for Global Markets?

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After the plunge on global markets last Wednesday and Thursday, more volatile trading is almost certain this week, as stocks react to efforts to limit the debt crisis in Europe.

U.S. stock futures are up Monday morning following reports that eurozone ministers are working on a new and much larger bailout plan for Greece and other nations that could face a potential default.  Discussions involve a sizeable write down of Greek debt.

Last week, U.S. stock averages lost between 5.5 and 6.5 percent, marking the biggest weekly losses since October 2008.

Overseas on Monday, European markets also responded well to the bailout news, trading higher ahead of closing.  Asian markets, on the other hand, couldn't follow the positive trend.

South Korea's Kospi fell the sharpest on Monday, closing down 2.64 percent.  Japan's Nikkei index shed 2.17 percent, China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.64 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.48 percent, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.01 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Stock Futures Point Up ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After losing its grip the day before, Wall Street is bound for gains Tuesday with stock futures up ahead of the opening bell.

Investors are hopeful the Federal Reserve, whose Federal Open Market Committee kicks off a two-day meeting Tuesday, will provide new measures to help boost the U.S. economy.

On Monday, the stock market snapped its five-day winning streak from the week before, closing lower across the board.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 107 points, the Nasdaq slipped nine and the S&P 500 lost 12.

Overseas, news concerning Europe's debt crisis had a mixed impact on markets.  Japanese and Australian stocks closed lower on Tuesday as Standard and Poor's downgraded Italy's credit rating one notch.  Japan's Nikkei index fell 1.61 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 went down 1.01 percent.

But reports hinting that Greece could soon be receiving much needed aid helped send European stocks higher, as well as some Asian ones.  South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.94 percent, Hong Kong‘s Hang Seng jumped 0.51 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite added 0.41 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


European Debt Worries Send US Futures, Global Stocks Down

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a week of strong gains, Wall Street is once again being plagued by the debt crisis in Europe.

Stock futures are pointing down ahead of Monday's opening bell as investors worry the situation overseas could worsen and have an impact on the already fragile U.S. economy.

On Friday, the stock market closed out the week higher, scoring five straight days of gains.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 76 points, the Nasdaq climbed 15 and the S&P 500 jumped seven.

Over the weekend, European finance ministers met but failed to come up with any fresh moves to make sure Greece gets the emergency funding it needs to avoid a default.  The news sent European stocks tumbling on Monday, and led Asian markets to close lower.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng took the biggest hit, plunging 2.76 percent.  China's Shanghai Composite dropped 1.79 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.64 percent, Taiwan's Taiex slid 1.27 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi went down 1.04 percent.

Japan's Nikkei index, however, bucked the trend, adding 2.25 percent.

Greece's prime minister has canceled a trip to the U.S. while his cabinet holds emergency talks to come up with new austerity measures.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Europe's Debt Crisis Sends Global Stocks, US Futures Tumbling

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The ongoing debt crisis in Europe continued to weigh down global markets on Monday, sending stocks tumbling as trading opened for the day.

European stock averages are trading sharply lower as investors worry about the region's debt problems and a potential default in Greece, which would further intensify the problems facing Europe's economy.  The share prices of three big French banks alone saw drops of at least 9.5 percent on Monday.

Over in Asia, markets followed in step with Europe, closing significantly lower on Monday.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng took the biggest hit, dropping 4.21 percent.  Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 followed with a 3.72 percent plunge.  Singapore’s FTSE Straits Times shed 2.89 percent and Japan's Nikkei index lost 2.31 percent.

Meanwhile, Wall Street appears headed in the same downward spiral with stock futures down ahead of Monday's opening bell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 304 points lower on Friday, while the Nasdaq dropped 61 and the S&P 500 lost 32.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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