Tag Archives: euro zone

Badness in Europe

One of the big dark clouds hanging over our economy is our very close ties to Europe. If the European economy tanks, we will be pulled down with it. This is a fact. S&P has downgraded France and just about everyone else in Europe except for Germany.

From WSJ:

France and eight other euro-zone countries suffered ratings downgrades on their sovereign debt Friday, sparking renewed global worries over Europe’s ability to bail itself out of financial crisis.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services stripped triple-A ratings from France and Austria and downgraded seven others, including Spain, Italy and Portugal. It retained the triple-A rating on Europe’s No. 1 economy, Germany.

The downgrade to France, the zone’s second-largest economy, will make it harder—and potentially more expensive—for the euro zone’s bailout fund to help troubled states, because the fund’s own triple-A rating depends on those of its constituents. The downgrades also speak to how deeply the concerns over countries on the euro zone’s periphery have penetrated its core.

Oh, and don’t forget Greece. Their debt talks have collapsed.

Possible Criminal Investigation of BP

President Barack Obama is in the Gulf. Many progressives want more to be done. My question is what? What more can and should Obama be doing? I can’t think of anything. Neither he nor the federal government have expertise in oil spills (it doesn’t seem that BP has expertise either, but that’s another story). Just think of what’s on Obama’s plate. Granny Doc has more:

Barack Obama has been elected to be President of the United States.  Among the issue on his plate, today, are the attack on two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan.  The standoff between North and South Korea, a situation so serious that China felt the need to try and calm the situation down.  The continuing melt down in the Euro Zone, with terrific potential to bring the economy crashing back to bottom.

The ongoing crisis in Haiti.  The intrusion of Brazil and Turkey into the nuclear issues surrounding Iran.  The current blockade of 9 large relief ship headed to Gaza, by Israel.  Two wars.  And, they’re STILL rioting in Africa!

If we profess to live in a Global World, a world in which every issue must be treated as effecting us, compromising our security, or effecting our economic well being, is it reasonable to expect the President to push everything else aside, concentrating only on the Bright Shiny Object that has our immediate attention? (more…)

Obama from the coast:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Looks like the Justice Department is looking into a criminal investigation of BP.

Reporting from Washington A team of top federal prosecutors and investigators has taken the first steps toward a formal criminal investigation into oil giant BP’s actions before and after the drilling rig disaster off Louisiana.

The investigators, who have been quietly gathering evidence in Louisiana over the last three weeks, are focusing on whether BP skirted federal safety regulations and misled the U.S. government by saying it could quickly clean up an environmental accident.

The team has met with U.S. attorneys and state officials in the Gulf Coast region and has sent letters to executives of BP and Transocean Ltd., the drilling rig owner, warning them against destroying documents or other internal records.