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World Bank: Europe is ruining everything

2012 started with such hope. Then Europe got in the way. Here's what needs to happen next.
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What happens in Athens doesn't stay in Athens, sadly. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Ah, Europe.

We love you for your rolling landscapes, your rich history, your 17 million varieties of wine and all that stinky cheese.

But, increasingly, we hate you for your lame economic policy, your maddening political intraction, your rising debt and your faltering currency.

Those sentiments were pretty well echoed by the World Bank today, which — in its lovably wonkish way — says the euro zone crisis is ruining just about everything in the global economy, particularly for developing countries.

More

Is Germany catching the euro zone virus?

BERLIN – Suddenly, Europe’s safe haven isn’t looking all that safe. After all, an exporting powerhouse needs customers. And banks need borrowers to pay back loans. The pressure is now on Berlin to act quickly, not just for the rest of the euro zone but for its own sake too. Plus: How Germany ended up with a clandestine bailout. 

Yes, they use the euro. And the economy is booming.

TALLINN, Estonia — The economy here is red-hot, growing by 7.6 percent. The government reports a fiscal surplus. Yet three years ago this was Europe’s basket case. How did they bounce back? “Austerity, austerity, austerity,” says Peeter Koppel, investment strategist at SEB Bank. Is this what the other side of the dark, euro crisis tunnel looks like? 

The European Commission issues a euro zone report card

Brussels — This time, the European Commission’s eurocrats didn’t mince words, warning that the euro zone risks “financial disintegration.” It offered bold advice on solving the crisis. But is anyone listening? 

Key Irish euro referendum pits fear against anger

BERLIN – In Europe’s latest cliff-hanger, a vote Thursday in favor of Merkel’s Fiscal Pact would endorse a Greece-style prescription for the debt-burdened Irish economy. A vote against it, however, could deliver even worse — for Ireland and the greater euro zone. Irish voters seethe over the choices. 

Euro crisis: Leaders debate the F-word

London — Europe's single currency needs an independent central bank and a single bond. It needs a single fiscal policy. Most important, it needs a single democratically elected government to oversee the economy. There’s a word for that, and it begins with an F. 

Europe 'doesn’t need the euro' says former Bundesbank member

BERLIN – Two years ago he shocked polite opinion with a racist polemic against Muslim immigrants. Now former Bundesbank member Thilo Sarrazin is back with a book in which he says Germany has made itself hostage to the euro zone out of Holocaust guilt.

On Location Video: Spain’s underground economy

As the official unemployment rate skyrockets, Spaniards go underground to survive.

On Location Video: Spain’s underground economy

As the official unemployment rate skyrockets, Spaniards go underground to survive.

Hollande's government urges Merkel to consider euro bonds

BRUSSELS – French President Francois Hollande thinks he’s found a solution to the euro zone crisis: the name’s Bonds. Euro bonds. But Angela Merkel’s still playing Dr. No. At a euro zone summit on Wednesday, the new French leader plans to revive proposals for bonds that would be jointly issued by euro zone countries to spread national debt burdens across the whole currency bloc. Hollande knows however that there is little chance the German chancellor will warm to the idea.
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