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Investors nervous over Europe’s bailout

Alisa Roth May 11, 2010

Investors nervous over Europe’s bailout

Alisa Roth May 11, 2010


Kai Ryssdal: Yesterday about this time the story line out of Europe was that money really can buy you happiness. A nearly trillion dollar rescue package had calmed global stock markets. Relief was palpable that the European debt crisis of 2010 would soon be little more than an unpleasant memory. Now that the markets have had a night to sleep on it, though, people are having some second thoughts.

Marketplace’s Alisa Roth explains what is making them unhappy.

ALISA ROTH: The way a lot of investors see it, there’s not much to be happy about: Europe’s bailout might not be big enough, and it might not be implemented soon enough.

Elsa Lignos is a currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets. She says this rescue won’t do the job by itself.

ELSA LIGNOS: This bailout package is not a panacea, it’s not the solution to all of Europe’s problems. It gives European countries with high debt, with deficit issues, it gives them some breathing space.

She says countries like Spain and Portugal need that breathing space so they can get their finances in order. But Greece has had disastrous results as it’s been trying to cut costs and raise taxes.

And Lignos says investors figure other countries might go the same way.

LIGNOS: Both Spain and Portugal have so far been, you might call it, reluctant to undertake the necessary fiscal consolidation, and the measures that they have announced so far are not as aggressive as the market would like.

Investors are anxious about more than just Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

Carl Weinberg is an economist at High Frequency Economics. He says they’re also worried about what Europe’s problems could do to the rest of the world.

CARL WEINBERG: In a world where all financial institutions are linked, banks in Japan have credit relationships with banks in Europe, banks in Germany have credit relationships with banks in Greece, so we have the risk of a rippled shock passing and expanding through the global financial system.

He says nobody believes the crisis in Greece is really under control yet, which makes them nervous about the situation in other countries, too.

I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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