Billionaire investor George Soros said Europe’s sovereign-debt woes are “more serious” than the financial crisis of 2008 and that the world faces the prospect of a “vicious circle” of deflation.
“We have a more dangerous situation now than in 2008,” Soros, 81, said in response to a question at an event in the southern Indian city of Bangalore today. “The crisis in Europe is more serious than the crash of 2008.”
Leaders in the euro region have struggled to solve the debt crisis that is now in its third year and which has clouded the outlook for the global economy. The European Central Bank has provided unprecedented cash injections to try to avert a credit crunch, while Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already been forced into bailouts.
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The euro strengthened against the dollar for the first time in four days as the leaders of Germany and France meet to craft a plan for rescuing the 17-nation common currency.
The euro advanced against all but one of its 16 biggest peers, after earlier reaching an 11-year low against the yen. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy gather in Berlin today to flesh out a new rulebook for fiscal discipline negotiated at a Dec. 9 summit that seeks to create a “fiscal compact” for the euro area.
The shared currency advanced 0.5 percent to $1.2781 at 10:35 a.m. London time, after earlier falling to $1.2666, its weakest level since September 2010. The euro was 0.3 percent stronger at 98.18 yen after dropping to 97.28, the least since December 2000. The dollar was 0.2 percent weaker at 76.82 yen. Japan’s markets are closed today for a public holiday.