WBEZ | Eurozone http://www.wbez.org/tags/eurozone Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Economists take economy's pulse and peer ahead to rest of year http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/economists-take-economys-pulse-and-peer-ahead-rest-year-100719 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS384_ten%20dollars_getty.JPG" style="height: 209px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="(Getty/File)" /></div><p>We&rsquo;re halfway through 2012, which means it&rsquo;s that time of year when economists and investors like to take stock of the overall health of the economy.</p><p>We may be three years out of an economic recession, but the U.S. economy continues to struggle. That was echoed last Friday when the latest jobs report revealed weak hiring in June and an unchanged unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.</p><p>Last month, Mesirow Financial&rsquo;s chief economist, Diane Swonk, gave a <a href="http://www.mesirowfinancial.com/economics/swonk/themes/themes_0612.pdf">cautious assessment</a> of what could be in store for the rest of 2012 and the beginning of 2013:</p><p>&ldquo;Any way we cut the data, the outlook is subdued at best; at worst, we are risking yet another recession.&rdquo;</p><p>Monday on the 102nd <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, we review what the first six months of 2012 have meant for the regional, national and global economies with <a href="http://www.performancetrustuniversity.com/our-faculty/brian-battle">Brian Battle</a>, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners, and Mesirow Financial&rsquo;s deputy chief economist <a href="http://www.mesirowfinancial.com/economics/laurenti/default.jsp">Adolfo Laurenti</a>. We&rsquo;ll also get their insight on what&rsquo;s ahead for consumers, the Eurozone, and the impact presidential politics could play on it all.&nbsp; Weigh in with your thoughts just after 2:00 p.m. by calling 312-923-9239.</p></p> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 11:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/economists-take-economys-pulse-and-peer-ahead-rest-year-100719 A return to European tribalism? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/return-european-tribalism-99443 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/turkey china.jpg" title="Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing in April. China’s and Turkey’s growing geopolitical influence is challenging Western European and American hegemony. (AP/Vincent Thian)" /></div><p>Editor&#39;s Note: Worldview<em> contributor Robert L. Price was at this weekend&#39;s NATO summit and will blog throughout the week on the summit and sustainability issues. Here, Price observes a new form of European tribalism that may accelerate the</em><em> paradigm shift of</em><em> geopolitical hegemony from the West to the East:</em></p><p>What exists to halt the disintegration of the European Union other than NATO and U.S. patronage?</p><p>As the EU Summit commences Wednesday in Brussels, two of Europe&rsquo;s economic hegemons, France and Germany, did not have their traditional mini-summit ahead of the big meeting. New French President Francois Hollande instead chose to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Paris. But if the European Union is to have a future, its mission must look beyond &ldquo;Smart Defense&rdquo; and a &ldquo;Missile Shield&rdquo; and be an organization that unifies its members.</p><p>European history was once described to me as &ldquo;one tribal region battling another tribal region.&rdquo; But there was a respite once: the economic expansion in the Americas, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonial unification. This respite unified tribal Europe and sent old world battles to be fought abroad. But in today&rsquo;s post-colonial world, there is no frontier and Europe may be heading back to the tribalism of its past.</p><p>Trends indicate a Europe and America in economic decline. By contrast, Europe&rsquo;s old colonies &ndash;&nbsp; Africa and Asia &ndash; are slowly realizing the wealth of their human capital and natural resources.&nbsp;While these former colonies rise, the European Union has become a contradiction in terms. It can&rsquo;t agree on its boundaries, it can&rsquo;t agree on its members and it won&rsquo;t even pay for its own defense.</p><p>There may be cracks in the wall. In an impassioned plea before the EU Parliament earlier this month, British representative Nigel Farage compared the EU to the Titanic hitting the iceberg. He warned of mass civil unrest, revolution and the re-emergence of Nazism. Farage fears economic disaster could be imminent unless Europe abandons integration. Nigel, a known Euro-skeptic, has been accused of being alarmist. But this time, his comments found resonance with common citizens and became viral on the web. The most iconic moment of his speech came as Farage pointed to the EU&rsquo;s blue flag and said, &quot;I owe no allegiance to that flag, and nor do most of the people in Europe either.&quot;</p><p>Greece&rsquo;s neo-fascist party won seven to eight percent of the vote in recent elections and the country can&rsquo;t seem to form a new coalition government. Neo-fascists and left-wing parties want Greece to follow the British example and return to its sovereign currency, the Drachma. Governments in Spain and other neighbors near economic collapse hear increased cries for a return to sovereign currency. Most troubling is a parallel trend; neo-tribalism fed by increased anti-immigrant fervor.</p><p>Britain&rsquo;s neighbors accused it of &ldquo;tribalism&rdquo; when the country decided to not abandon the British Pound for the Euro. If Europe doesn&rsquo;t get its house in order, the continent will return to tribalism. Past European tribalism was based on human and natural exploitation. The next time around, we don&rsquo;t know.</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Wed, 23 May 2012 10:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/return-european-tribalism-99443 Proposed European credit rating agency set to give American “big three” competition http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-21/proposed-european-credit-rating-agency-set-give-american-%E2%80%9Cbig-three%E2%80%9D-com <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-21/german.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>American credit ratings agencies recently downgraded Greece, Portugal and Ireland’s debt to junk status, making it harder for the EU to avoid an economic meltdown. In Europe, there’s growing discontent over these agencies’ unchecked power. Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the creation of a new European credit ratings agency.</p><p><a href="http://www.rolandberger.com/expertise/experts/expert_profile/rbsc-exp-Markus_Krall.html" target="_blank">Markus Krall</a>, an economist at Roland Burger in Germany who's leading the effort, tells us how it would work.</p></p> Thu, 21 Jul 2011 15:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-21/proposed-european-credit-rating-agency-set-give-american-%E2%80%9Cbig-three%E2%80%9D-com Former IMF official says Greece should default and drop the Euro http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-07/former-imf-official-says-greece-should-default-and-drop-euro-88838 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-07/greece1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Eurozone finance ministers and economists from around the world now argue over the best solution to Greece’s spiraling economic crisis. Some want more rigorous austerity measures, while others believe Greece should default on its debt and abandon the Euro. <a href="http://www.aei.org/scholar/72" target="_blank">Desmond Lachman</a>, former deputy director at the International Monetary Fund in its Policy Development and Review Department, tells us why he favors the latter. Desmond is now Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent article on the Greek debt crisis is <a href="http://www.american.com/archive/2011/july/a-tale-of-a-euro-exit-foretold" target="_blank">“A Tale of a Euro Exit Foretold”</a> in <em>The American</em>.</p></p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 16:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-07/former-imf-official-says-greece-should-default-and-drop-euro-88838