For obvious reasons, the economy will be one of the most important flashpoints in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney made dueling speeches in the battleground state of Ohio about their visions for the economy.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said this week that the median American family's wealth has dropped nearly 40% between 2007 and 2010, with the median family having as little in 2010 as in the early ‘90s, negating two decades of accumulated prosperity.
In the U.S., wholesale prices fell by the most in almost three years. Also, retail sales fell in May for the second month in a row, indicating that consumers are more cautious about their spending, in light of high unemployment and a weak housing recovery.
We also note the passing of Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize in economics. We’ve written more on her legacy here.
At the same time, pressure is mounting on our cousins across the pond, who are grappling with the European debt crisis. Spain has accepted a pseudo bailout of its banking sector, which, instead of making investors feel better, has actually been raising fears about the future of the euro zone. Similarly, yields on Italian bonds have been rising, which indicates that investors are getting worried now about that country, too.
On top of that, Greek elections are coming up this weekend, so politicians, pundits and regular people from all over the world are watching to see what this will mean for European instability.
Keep reading for our simple, visual explanation of the complicated situation in Europe and a new piece of research that turns commonly accepted wisdom about investing on its head.
Is This Really 'The End of Europe'?
The euro crisis has been making headlines for the past year, and new developments with Spain and Greece threaten the future of the EU. Should you be worried?
A New Study Says Your Investing Strategy May Be All Wrong
New research questions conventional wisdom: Do high risk investments really offer the promise of higher reward, or have we been wrong all along?