Can We Learn Anything From Greece?

Greece is running out of money. Their bond holders are getting anxious. The EU is upset because the Euro is losing value as investors move into other currencies. Is this all a surprise? In short, no. The writing has been on the wall since before Greece’s inclusion into the EU. The questions are, what impact are the actions Greece is being forced to take going to have on their fragile economy and what can the US take away as a lesson from this situation?

Currently it is estimated that deficit spending in Greece  reached 12.7% of GDP in fiscal year 2009 (The US was about 10%). This is problematic for several reasons, first, it severely violates the 3% maximum EU restriction on Continue reading

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“Frozen Cash”- Iceland’s Big Decision

When arrived in Vienna in early January of 2009, headlines of every newspaper discussed the decline of Iceland’s economy and soon the countries government.  The government had become ridiculously overexposed in Baltic and US mortgages after bailing out the top 3 national banks in second half of 2008.  During this period of distress the Iceland’s króna lost half its value, inflation went from the normal 3-4% to 14%, and the country’s ruling coalition crumbled when the prime minister stepped down.  So even thought this country was a minuscule player in the global market, they were suffering a major economic collapse as a result of the global financial crisis. Continue reading

The European Union and World Regionalism

I picked up The EU and World Regionalism out of our collection of new books in the library. This book intrigued me because I spent a lot of time learning about the European Union in my London study abroad program this past summer. I realize that a lot of people probably would not be interested in reading a book like this because many Americans don’t know much about the EU and probably could not name more than a handful of its member states. I myself did not know a great deal about the EU until I took these summer classes, but my study abroad experience really opened my eyes to other areas of the world outside of the United States. Continue reading