China's economy grew 8.9 percent last quarter, the slowest pace in 2.5 years, and on Monday Premier Wen Jiabao cut the nation's growth target for 2012 to 7.5 percent, an eight-year low. Worries of a Chinese hard landing, defined as a sharp and sudden deceleration in growth, have gained momentum. However, China has been proactive in its efforts to prevent a hard landing. It has fine-tuned its policies to curb inflation, boost domestic consumption, and prevent a housing bubble. The Chinese government intervened heavily from 1989 to 1991 to cool its economy, causing real growth in gross domestic product to plunge to 4.1 percent in 1989, from 11.3 percent the previous year. It stepped in again in 1993. And some argue that this time around it's no different, and that the government knows exactly what it is doing. So we asked six top China analysts whether they saw a hard or soft landing scenario and what we should keep an eye on.
Student loans worth $25,000 will start accruing interest in November, but a young couple wants to buy a house in 2013. Should they pay off the student loans or buy a home? See question No. 4 in this reader mailbag.
Japan couldn't trick its way out of an economic meltdown, and neither can the US.
European stocks as well as the euro dropped as optimism from last week's euro crisis summit yielded to tough questions about the EU's ability to avert fresh crises.
France and Germany agreed on a joint strategy to stem the European debt crisis: Rewrite the treaties that govern the eurozone.
China's manufacturing sector marked its biggest fall in three years amid eurozone woes and a weak US economy. But China appears unlikely to focus on boosting domestic consumption, which could help other countries.