This Week’s Report: “Euro Crisis”

As Europe’s beleaguered eurozone struggles to keep the region’s spiraling debt crisis from dragging the global economy into recession, some analysts are asking whether the United States should help rescue the European economy, perhaps by pledging more money to the International Monetary Fund.

But others say that after years of reckless borrowing and profligate spending by such nations as Greece and Spain, Europe must solve its own problems. A rescue effort, they argue, is not in the United States’ economic interest.

One thing is clear, as London-based writer Christopher Hack explains in this important and timely report: In an “increasingly globalized world…, the economies of Europe and the United States are often said to be joined at the hip.”

“The European Union is the second-largest purchaser of American exports, and many U.S. banks do a large portion of their business either in Europe or in conjunction with European banks,” Hack writes. “The problems in Europe already have hit U.S. export income and forced banks to retrench.… Many economists worry that Europe’s problems could undermine Americans’ fragile confidence in the U.S. economic recovery.”

Along with graphics and several sidebars on the euro crisis, the report includes a map showing the status of countries in the European Union and eurozone, plus a lively pro-con debate on whether the United States should bail out Europe’s financial system.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor