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Financial crisis in the US and the eurozone

03 october 2011, 14:18
0

Below are the key dates since late July in the financial crisis which has engulfed Europe and the United States:

JULY

- 21: Eurozone leaders agree on a new bailout of Greece totalling 159 billion euros ($223 billion), involving for the first time private bondholders such as banks. Greece's debt comes to some 350 billion euros, more than 150 percent of GDP.

Protesters clash with police in front of the Finance ministry during a demonstration in Athens. ©AFP
Protesters clash with police in front of the Finance ministry during a demonstration in Athens. ©AFP

AUGUST

- 3: Market pressure on Italy and Spain rises with borrowing costs for the two soaring to record heights.

- 5: The United States' credit rating is cut for the first time ever when Standard and Poor's lowers it from triple-A to AA+, citing the country's looming debt and deficit burden. Turmoil on the financial markets.

- 8: The European Central Bank said it would make major purchases of eurozone government bonds after Italy and Spain announced new measures and reforms to boost their economies, relieving pressure on their bonds.

- 10: Stocks plunge at great speed in Europe and on Wall Street led by bank shares, amid new concern over Greece.

- French President Nicolas Sarkozy breaks off his holiday and promises new measures to slash France's public deficit amid fears it could be the next country to suffer a top credit-rating downgrade.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy. ©AFP
French President Nicolas Sarkozy. ©AFP

- Ratings agency Fitch downgrades Cyprus rating two notches to BBB.

- 11: Stock exchange authorities in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium ban short selling.

- 12: Italy's cabinet approves a 45.5-billion-euro austerity budget in a bid to fend off speculative attacks.

- 15: The European Central Bank (ECB) says it bought a record 22 billion euros of government bonds the previous week, which it is believed was used primarily support Italy and Spain.

- 16: France and Germany vow to give the eurozone bloc a "true economic government" and to hold eurozone members a tougher fiscal standard. An EU-wide tax on financial transactions is mooted. European leaders applaud the proposals, but the market is disappointed that the pair did not back the idea of issuing "eurobonds" to pool the debts of the 17 eurozone members.

- 18-19: Global stocks tumble on mounting fears of fresh global recession amid weakening growth in top economies and poor liquidity at European banks.

A TV screen indicates the trend of the Hang Seng Index at a securities hoouse in Hong Kong. ©AFP
A TV screen indicates the trend of the Hang Seng Index at a securities hoouse in Hong Kong. ©AFP

- 24: France unveils a 12-billion-euro deficit cutting package as it revises the government's growth forecast for 2011 downwards to 1.75 percent from 2.0 percent.

SEPTEMBER

- 2: Spain's lower house of parliament vote to place a cap on budget deficits in the constitution, a move that cheers markets but angers many at home.

- 5: European stocks tumble around four percent, with bank stocks hit particularly hard.

- 6: Gold, seen as a safe bet in times of economic uncertainty, jumps to a record high price of $1,921.17 an ounce.

- Demonstrations in Italy and Spain

Spain's
Spain's "indignant" protesters take part in a demonstration demanding solutions for mortgage payers. ©AFP

- 7: Germany's top court spares the eurozone new dangers by upholding bailouts for debt-wracked nations.

- 7: Spain approves a "golden rule" in its constitution to keep future budget deficits to a strict limit. It is only the second country to do so after Germany.

- 9: ECB chief economist Juergen Stark resigns, with the bank split over bond buying.

Former chief economist of European Central Bank (ECB) Juergen Stark. ©REUTERS/Herwig Prammer
Former chief economist of European Central Bank (ECB) Juergen Stark. ©REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

- 11: Greece announces new budget cuts, with renewed rumours of a debt default or its possible exit from the eurozone.

- 14: Moody's ratings agency downgrades top French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole.

- Italy's parliament endorses the government's 54.2-billion-euro austerity package.

- 15: The world's main central banks take concerted action to help the eurozone.

- Finance ministers from the eurozone and the EU hold an inconclusive meeting in Poland in the presence of US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.



- 16: Spain reports its public debt at a 14-year high.

- 18: The Greek government announces a new round of austerity measures for next year.

- 20: The Standard & Poor's ratings agency downgrades Italy's sovereign debt rating.

- 22: Workers in Greece hold the latest in a series of strikes to protest austerity measures.

- 24: Responding to expressions of concern from world powers and also the IMF, eurozone leaders commit themselves to ensuring the zone's overall stability.

- 29: The parliament in Germany, the eurozone's richest member, votes to boost the EFSF.


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