The US Federal Reserve announced a $267bn plan to underpin the US's fragile recovery Wednesday as chairman Ben Bernanke warned that unemployment was unlikely to improve before the end of the year. The plan – an extension of a scheme known as Operation Twist – aims to drive down long-term interest rate and encourage borrowing. The announcement came as the latest statement from the Fed painted a gloomier picture of the US economy and said it was prepared to take more action if necessary.Read more »
The unthinkable suddenly looks possible. Bankers, governments and investors are preparing for Greece to stop using the euro as its currency, a move that could spread turmoil throughout the global financial system. The worst case envisions governments defaulting on their debts, a run on European banks and a worldwide credit crunch reminiscent of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008. A Greek election on Sunday will determine whether it happens. Syriza, a party opposed to the restrictions placed on Greece in exchange for a bailout from European neighbors, could do well.Read more »
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