It's hard to love the EU – bureaucratic, legalistic, mired in gridlock. The euro crisis hasn't earned it much praise lately, either. But the EU still has vital clout. It can help force member states like Hungary to stick to democracy, rather than backslide into dictatorship.
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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has opposed many of the moves to stabilize the eurozone that her European colleagues favor. Is she the steady hand Europe needs now, or does she lack political courage?
A modestly higher financial transaction tax, or FTT, could discourage speculation, lead to less price volatility, and encourage long-term investment. One estimate projects such a 'sales tax' on Wall Street may raise $175 billion a year, even if it cut the total number of transactions in half.
The Dow rose 102 points to close at 11518 after hitting its lowest point of the year last week
Slovakia's vote against expanding the European bailout fund presents an unwelcome obstacle to solving Europe's debt crisis. It also caused the fall of the tiny country's government.
As the global economy founders, refinancing Europe's banks to deal with the debt crisis might be preferable to bailing out countries, experts say – and politicians are starting to agree.
European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet offered European banks emergency short-term loans. Speculation is rising over a plan by EU leaders to recapitalize banks.