June 30, 2012 — The European Debt Crisis

You’ve no doubt been hearing about the European debt crisis, a financial catastrophe that has crippled certain countries in the eurozone—an economic and monetary union of European Union states that have adopted the euro (the common European currency adopted in 1999) as their currency. New developments surrounding the crisis unfold daily, affecting weaker countries like Greece and Spain. Ben Edelman, 16 and a rising junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North in New Jersey who is vice president of the school’s Fed Challenge team (an economics competition run by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York), knows a thing or two about economic issues. Ben says this is why teens should care about the debt crisis that may seem so far away: “The European economy is on the brink of recession, and the structure of the eurozone is at a high risk of failing. If Europe collapses, the rest of the world, including the U.S., will probably enter a global downturn. The effects of this downturn would have a significant impact upon teenagers’ lives. The unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds looking for work has already risen from 14% to 25% during the last six years, but teens would be faced with an even poorer job market. Student loans would be even harder to obtain, and would become costlier in the future.” To read more about the debt crisis, go to http://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu/2012/06/pressure-mounts-in-the-european-debt-crisis/.