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Euro and "morbid speculation"

Christmas spirit distinctly absent as first step in euro zone rescue fails to unite EU members
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ECB president Mario Draghi doesn't seem overly worried about "morbid" speculators outside the euro zone (code for anti-euro folks in London and New York) at a meeting yesterday in Brussels. (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Christmas spirit distinctly absent as first step in euro zone rescue fails to unite EU members

IMF chief warns of return to depression

Christine Lagarde says euro zone crisis can no longer be solved simply by the European nations themselves.
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IMF chief Christine Lagarde addressing the Women In Public Service event at the Department of State December 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Lagarde said another depression was not out of the question. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)
IMF chief Christine Lagarde says euro zone crisis can no longer be solved simply by the European nations themselves.

Europe: can anyone save it from itself?

As Italian bond yields reach unsustainable highs and world markets begin to fall, Europe faces the worst crisis of leadership since August 1914. And we all know how that turned out.
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A statue to one of the fallen of World War I. Are today's European leaders as inept in guiding the continent through troubled times as those in charge in August 1914? (Peter Macdiarmid/AFP/Getty Images)

A snapshot of a moment in history:

November 10, 2011.  Global stock markets are falling. The yield on Italian bonds continues to rise.

A German newspaper reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to float the idea of re-writing the rules governing the euro zone at her Christian Democratic Union party meeting next week. At present there is no mechanism for countries inside the euro to leave.

Merkel reportedly wants a new treaty provision that defines the ways in which a nation can leave - or be asked to leave - if it doesn't meet the basic conditions of euro zone membership. You want to know the basic conditions?: an annual budget deficit no higher than 3 percent of GDP and a national debt lower than 60 percent of GDP.  Italy's debt is currently 120% of GDP. Got the picture?


G-20 summit: who's in charge?

Who's in charge of world economy? Anyone?
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy talk as they arrive for a press conference after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and EU and IMF representatives over Eurozone bailout plan ahead of the G20 summit on November 2, 2011 in Cannes, France. (David Ramos/AFP/Getty Images)
Elected leaders of 20 largest economies meet in Cannes and are confronted by a simple reality: there is very little they can do to sort Europe's mess while Greece is in political meltdown.

Court delays ruling on Lagarde criminal probe

The allegations concern a 285 million euro state compensation payment made to businessman and former government minister Bernard Tapie, to settle a dispute between himself and the Credit Lyonnais bank, which was then owned by the state.

European Commission criticizes Portuguese ratings downgrade

The Commission questioned of the "appropriateness of behaviour" of international ratings agencies, which in addition to Moody's include Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

Challenges ahead as Lagarde begins IMF role

France 24 said Lagarde would also be looking to make more room for emerging economies at the IMF, and to establish her legitimacy in her new position, despite the fact she is not a trained economist.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn released from house arrest without bail

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn released from house arrest as the sexual assault case against him appears a step closer to dismissal.  

Brother of maid in Strauss-Kahn sex case slams report against her

"The truth will come out one day," the Guinean woman's brother said.

Strauss-Kahn sexual-assault case near collapse as serious questions about accuser surface

In a stunning reversal of fortune, Strauss-Kahn might be released on his own recognizance and freed from house arrest, and it is unlikely that the most serious charges against him will stand.
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