The Associated Press
EU running out of time as Greece nears the exit
ATHENS, Greece (AP) â¿¿ European leaders insist they want to keep Greece in the eurozone, but are putting off any agreement on how they hope to accomplish that. Greece says it, too, wants to stay in the eurozone, but until after elections it's uncertain whether it can implement the austerity that Europe has set as a condition for doing so.Essentially, both are playing for time â¿¿ about a month. The question is whether financial markets will wait or force their hand. Concerns that European leaders lack the political will â¿¿ and wherewithal â¿¿ to tackle the continent's economic problems have worried the markets for weeks. Among the 17 countries that use the euro, seven are in recession. Business confidence is under pressure and banks are feeling the squeeze. The biggest fear is that if Greece cannot be kept in the euro, other larger economies â¿¿ like Spain or Portugal â¿¿ might face the same fate. ___ Goldman's Blankfein gets a break JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) â¿¿ For once, the spotlight wasn't on Goldman Sachs. The bank that Wall Street critics love to hate enjoyed a relatively calm shareholder meeting Thursday while two of its peers, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, grappled with public-relations nightmares. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein was peppered with questions about the bank's political lobbying, but the vitriol and the shouting protesters that have haunted other banks' meetings this spring were absent. The tranquility was partly a product of timing. Earlier this month, JPMorgan announced a surprise $2 billion trading loss, which has bolstered the banking industry's critics but also taken pressure off Goldman. ___ Morgan Stanley may refund some Facebook investors NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Morgan Stanley, the lead investment bank in Facebook's troubled initial public offering, will compensate investors who overpaid when they bought Facebook's stock in Friday's IPO, according to a source familiar with the matter.
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