[QODLink]
Counting the Cost
Debt and default
US leaders argue over how to cut the $14 trillion debt, while European ministers try to prevent disaster for the euro.
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2011 08:09

The world seems to be sinking in a sea of debt. In the US, Washington is battling over $14tn worth of debt. If a political deal is not reached in the next two weeks, the world's biggest economy will have to default. Ratings agency Moody's is deciding to review America's triple-A rating, with a possible downgrade, hitting the dollar and sending gold to a new record high. 

Across Europe default is also a concern. The national debt of Italy - Europe's third biggest economy - now stands at $4tn. Servicing that will require $576bn by the end of the year. 

Also European finance ministers met again in Brussels to talk about another bailout for Greece. The second package of loans to Athens is expected to be worth around $176bn. 

And in Ireland, where Moody's actually cut the country's debt rating to junk status, there are warnings that a second bailout may be needed. But the European Commission has criticised the downgrade, saying Ireland is returning to growth. 

Also on the programme - while Moody's has raised red flags on Chinese companies, so has another firm. Muddy Waters Research has cost some of the biggest investors on Wall Street a lot of money. One of the world's richest men John Paulson, lost around $110m when he dumped all his shares in a Chinese company called Sino Forest, after a scathing report from Muddy Waters accusing Sino Forest of "aggressively committing fraud" and being a "pump and dump" scheme.

And the humble cheque book, we take a look at why the UK government is thinking about phasing it out by 2018. 

  

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.

Click here for more on Counting the Cost.


Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Great white activity off famous Bondi Beach had beach-goers scrambling out of the water, but experts say don't panic.
At least 25,000 displaced people have gathered on the northern border, with more on the way trying to escape attacks.
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.