Why You Should Be Worried about Europe

Douglas J. Elliott
Douglas J. Elliott Former Brookings Expert, Partner - Oliver Wyman

October 25, 2011

The full text of the article below is available at the CNN Money website. Douglas Elliott adapted it from his testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade.

The European debt crisis is deeply concerning.

If Europe were to be shaken by a series of nations defaulting on their government debt, I am convinced that the continent would plunge into a severe recession.

Their recession would trigger a recession of our own, although a less severe one, through a number of links across the Atlantic.

Trade: Over $400 billion of our exports in 2010 went to the European Union. We should expect to lose a significant portion of this while Europe is in deep recession.

At the same time, European firms would likely gain market share at the expense of American sales and jobs, as the euro depreciated and difficulties in selling within Europe spurred greater export efforts.

Beyond Europe, emerging market countries like China also export substantial amounts to Europe and would find their growth slowing considerably. Our exports to those nations would be hit.