The recession pounds Europe

But the old continent’s banks should hold up better than most

The financial meltdown that sparked the global recession might have arrived with a Made in the U.S.A. sticker, but, as this comprehensive feature article shows, Europe is feeling a full measure of pain. The symptoms vary, though. Consumers won’t spend in France, exports have tanked in Germany, real estate bubbles have popped in Britain and Spain. And bad times underline flawed institutions: the EU needs a single securities regulator “rather than the tangle of national bodies it currently has” (sound familiar?). On the other hand, cautious European banks—except in previously high-flying Britain and Ireland—should recover faster than battered American lenders.

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