European Union

Formally established in 1993, the European Union, often referred to simply as the EU, is a political and economic union established after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty by members of the European Community. It has since expanded to include some Central and Eastern European nations. The establishment of the European Union provided for the creation of a central European bank and the adoption of a common currency: the euro. The idea behind the European Union is to create a single geographical market where goods, services, and money can be exchanged freely.


Greece is hours away from defaulting on its debt obligations to creditors, threatening a global stock market crash and possible eurozone economic collapse in 2015. European Union authorities are scrambling to patch together a last-minute deal to prevent a Greek…

Following a weak second quarter, the Dow Jones Industrial and S&P 500 indices are now in positive territory for the first time since the end of the first quarter on the backs of a positive July and August. So far,…

I wrote a couple of months ago in these pages about the fact that the British economy officially entered a recession as of the first quarter of 2012, when the country released its GDP growth numbers. While Britain expected its…

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) will report its fiscal third quarter on July 24, but the real excitement for the company will be the second half, when Apple releases the highly anticipated “iPhone 5,” an “iPad” mini (to challenge smaller tablets), and…

Hope springs eternal; many believe consumer spending will resume in 2012 as the jobs market improves, preventing the U.S. economy from entering a recession. But the hard evidence shows otherwise. As the U.S. Senate and Congress are split between democrats…

The eurozone is on shaky ground. European Union leaders will be meeting on Thursday to begin an emergency two-day summit as the region’s leaders attempt to localize and corral the European debt crisis. Spain has formally requested emergency funds to…

The focus this past weekend was squarely on the Greek elections and whether the vote was one which would precipitate the exit of Greece from the European Union. The focus instead should have been on the fact that Greece will…

A few weeks ago, members of the Swiss parliament discussed introducing a gold bullion-backed currency to trade alongside their paper-based currency (source: Forex Pros, May 22, 2012). In Switzerland, the official currency is the Swiss franc. What was proposed was…

For the first time in two years, the U.S. has experienced two consecutive months of declining retail sales (source: Commerce Department). Not only did May 2012’s retail sales, month-over-month, decline 0.2%, but this was on the back of April’s retail…

In 2010, the average American family was no wealthier than they were in early 1990s—meaning the financial crisis of 2008 erased two decades of wealth (source: New York Times, June 11, 2012). The Federal Reserve released this very sobering but…

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued another scathing report on the state of the mountainous U.S. national debt. The CBO says the national debt will double by 2026 and reach 200% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2037…

Spain’s Treasury minister—equivalent to Timothy Geithner here in the U.S.—issued a public plea yesterday to the European Central Bank (ECB) stating it was “technically impossible” for Spain to bail itself out. While everyone assumed the future of the European Union…

This past month of May was the turning point for the global economy. Just look at these statistics and you can’t help but think the bottom is falling out again… Manufacturing sank to a three-year low in May for the…

There were no proverbial May flowers this year when it came to the stock market, with the month showing the worst decline since September 2011. The NASDAQ fell 7.19% in May and 8.54% from the end of the first quarter.…

Here’s the bottom line on the crisis in Europe: The only way the European debt crisis could be put temporarily aside is if the European Central Bank (the “ECB,” our equivalent of the Federal Reserve) prints money. Since Germany is…