If you remember correctly, last time we talked about Europe, the whole region was pretty much an economic war zone.
Some countries were receiving multibillion-euro bailouts, some countries were begging for multibillion-euro bailouts, and some countries were just hanging out on the outskirts thinking to themselves, “Man, we’re lucky to not be in this mess.”
I feel like I’m writing a “Where Are They Know” type of article. Speaking of which, there are a couple dandies out there from our friends over at Buzzfeed. Did you ever wonder what the cast of the mid-90s classic “Little Giants” is up to? Needless to say, you’ll be shocked as to what “Hot Hands” Hanon is doing with his life now.
So let’s break it down that way and have some fun.
Last seen: Influencing the U.S. stock market like it’s its job, needing some assistance from the European Central Bank (ECB) to help bail them out of a shortfall.
Currently: Spain really isn’t looking much better than it did in the past. As a matter of fact, many analysts are saying that Spain actually sugarcoated how ugly its financial situation actually is. Unemployment is rising like a thermometer in Phoenix in July, rising to 24.6% in September. Furthermore, the budget deficit will reach a higher-than-predicted 7.4%. Spain requested more aid from the ECB to lower borrowing costs and increase investing appeal. Remember when Mario Draghi said he would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro? Yeah, we’ll see about that.
Last seen: Driving down a bumpy road with a new government at the wheel, thinking about ditching the euro and sending the whole global market into a tizzy.
Currently: Quite frankly, not too much has changed in Greece lately. The “troika” of lenders, commissioners, and European Central Bankers dove headfirst today into more negotiations regarding what to do with more than 2 billion euros in disputed austerity cuts. Protestors swarmed the ministry building this morning with good reason: the government handed out 200 billion euros to bankers, but want to cut medicine, treatment, and benefits for the disabled? Things aren’t looking good over there, but it’s all Greek to me anyway (yeah, I went there).
Last seen: Up to its waist in debt, but not over its head; thrown into the whirlwind that is the European debt crisis.
Currently: The good news from Europe is that Italy’s debt is sustainable. Maria Cannata, the head of Italy’s Debt Management Office, said, “The rates on newly issued debt are low. Lower, for example, than they were in the years before the crisis,” but she cautioned that they are still far from normalcy. For reference, the average costs for issuing debt in Italy were 3.61% in 2011, 4.09% in 2008, and 4.14% in 2007. Everything is fine and dandy today in Italy, but who knows what tomorrow will bring when its neighboring countries are struggling as much as they are.
Where will these three amigos end up in a month? Who knows, but stay tuned and find out!