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Global economy: The darkness returns

If you haven't been closely following events recently then I've got some bad news for you: It sure looks like we're headed for more dark times. And fast. From the world's largest economy (the US), to the world's largest economic bloc (the European Union), to the world's fastest-growing major economy (China) to a former high-flyer (India), the world is a mess right now.

For most Tunisians, little has changed

SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia — An angry crowd of protesters recently gathered in front of the Sidi Bouzid city hall, on the very spot where the Tunisian uprising began. They were protesting 19 percent unemployment and growing inflation. One of the demonstrators, Alawi Tahrir, said that economic conditions have not changed for most Tunisians since the uprising began in December 2010. “I have a master's degree in the English language, and I'm still unemployed after five years,” he said.

US, Canada lead G7 nations in economic recovery, says OECD

The economies of the US and Canada will recover faster than their European counterpoints, said a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

US, France & UK consider tapping emergency oil reserves

Speculation about the release of oil stocks helped push the cost of benchmark Brent crude down on Wednesday, with prices dropping 1.3 percent to $123.93 in afternoon trading in London.

OECD chief: Europe needs "mother of all firewalls"

Angel Gurría called for decisive action from the 17-member euro zone's finance ministers when they meet in Copenhagen on Friday.

The EU takes on the world

Faced with overwhelming international opposition however, it’s hard to see how the EU can emerge victorious in this battle. However worthy its ideals, Europe no longer has the economic or political clout to cajole emerging powerhouses into following its views.

Japan, China and South Korea in investment deal

Japan’s foreign ministry said the agreement – which has been discussed for almost a decade and under negotiation since 2007 – would “add momentum” to work towards a trade deal. 

China and Australia sign $31BN currency swap deal

The agreement will allow for US$31.2 billion worth of local currencies to be exchanged between both countries’ central banks over three years, lowering costs for businesses.

So how stressed is the financial system?

Now there's a chart to see just how everyone is feeling out there.
Munch the screamEnlarge
Madeline Wilson from the National Gallery of Victoria mimics the scream from Edvard Munch's famous hand-coloured lithograph version of 'The Scream.' (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

As everyone knows, there's been plenty of stress in the financial system since 2008 and the global financial and economic crisis.

But thanks to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (hooray for freshwater economists!) we've now got a graph to prove it.

The dependable bank has put together something called the Cleveland Financial Stress Index, which constantly monitors stress levels in an easy-to-digest graphic format.

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Geir Haarde, ex-Iceland PM, on trial over financial crisis

Haard is thought to be the world’s first politician to face criminal charges over the crisis, and faces up to two years in prison if found guilty.
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