Anger and fear about Europe's seemingly unstoppable debt crisis swept through the continent Wednesday. Striking workers shut down much of Portugal, Ireland proposed its deepest budget cuts in history and seething Italian and British students clashed with police over education cuts.
Ireland's banks will be pruned down, merged or sold as part of a massive EU-IMF bailout taking shape, the government said Monday as a shellshocked nation came to grips with its failure to protect and revive its banks.
After weeks of denying it needed a bailout, Ireland Sunday became the second European country to ask for a multibillion euro emergency loan to help stabilize its debt-ridden banks.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has sought to defuse criticism of the Fed's $600 billion bond-purchase plan by arguing that it's needed to boost the economy and reduce unemployment. But he warned that the Fed's program can't succeed on its own.
Irish and European officials mounted tough negotiations Friday over terms of a massive credit line for Ireland's debt-crippled banks — with Ireland's prized low business taxes in the firing line.
European officials geared up to travel to Ireland and lift the lid on just how bad the country's banking woes are, as EU finance ministers struggled Wednesday to come up with a rescue plan that will keep bond market turmoil from spreading to Portugal and Spain.
Fresh fears of a looming international currency war sent the dollar to an eight-month low against the euro Thursday as top world financial officials cautioned that competing devaluations of countries' currencies could threaten the global economic recovery.
The deputy foreign minister of Greece readily concedes the irony of a socialist government slashing the budget and cutting treasured social programs - actions that send thousands of union workers into the streets, denouncing the ruling party as a lackey of "bankers and bosses."
Markets became shaky again yesterday after central banks stopped pumping money into the system for the first time in nearly a week, Wal-Mart warned of economic difficulties for consumers, and some lower-rated businesses said they were having trouble rolling over their debts.