Thursday, May 27, 2010

The disconnect behind Europe's financial free fall

Washington Post
May 26, 2010

A month ago, many Americans were undoubtedly wondering why they should care about the debt burdens of faraway European nations such as Greece, Spain and Portugal. Now, with U.S. financial markets joining the rest of the world in getting pounded, we have our answer.

It's always a bit of a mystery why fear turns into panic, or why the galloping of a few horses produces a stampede. Europeans and Asians must have asked similar questions about cause and effect two years ago, as they watched a relatively small category of U.S. lending -- subprime mortgage loans -- produce a hysterical bank run on Wall Street that sucked liquidity out of the global financial system.


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