With the election in Greece this weekend and the continuing financial woes in Spain, I want to take a moment to explain how this all impacts you as an average American.
First, the Greek election: It looks like by a hair, a government will form that wants to remain with the euro and not ditch it. Had the results been the opposite, we would have faced a new version of financial Armageddon on a worldwide scale. But thankfully, that didn’t happen. Yet Greece still remains an unfolding disaster, in spite of whether the new government is quote unquote trying to do right thing.
Stock markets around the world were not elated for long on the news of the Greek election. That’s because we got more bad news about Spain. Unfortunately, last week’s $125 billion bailout for Spanish banks wasn’t close to being enough.
So the reality is we are in a situation that will require a lot of work around the world. It’s a red light, yellow light scenario; there is no green light here. For that very reason, my producers at HLN hate the whole European story because it can’t be told in 45 seconds. It just doesn’t lend itself to pithy commentary.
As for us, what we avoided in the Greek vote is another big wave of employment here in the U.S. Because if Europe had gone into meltdown, that would have impacted our banks and the employment picture.
Fortunately, nothing terrible came to pass. But the problems continue. The most important thing for you is no different than I’ve said in 2007, 2008 or 2009: You can’t control what goes on in a foreign capital, let alone what goes on in Washington, D.C. What you can control is what goes on between your four walls.
Some of the things you can do include reducing your household debt; having some rainy day money; being careful with your spending; and saving for the future. By doing these things, you put yourself in better stead because you develop a safety net. And these are definitely times that call for safety and security!