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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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SPIEGEL: So, what was in danger? Just the banks? The euro? The European Union?
Trichet: We are now experiencing severe tensions, which are coming after the events of 2007-2008. At that time, private institutions and markets were about to collapse completely. That triggered a very bold and comprehensive financial support by governments. And now we see the signature of some governments put into question. This is a problem for almost all industrialized countries. In the G-7, the major economies have a yearly deficit of around 10 percent of gross domesitc product (GDP). In the euro area as a whole it averages 7 percent of GDP. In this situation with extremely elevated deficits across the globe, the markets have singled out a weak link: Greece. Also taking into account the fact that its statistics were incorrect at one time, market pressure was concentrated there and a drastic adjustment program was necessary.
SPIEGEL: Apparently it was not only Greece that came under attack. Portugal was next ...
Trichet: In the market, there is always a danger of contagion -- like the contagion we saw among the private institutions in 2008. And it can occur quickly. Sometimes it is a question of half days. This is an issue for the industrialized world as a whole....
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary Europe Germany Greece Portugal Spain
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