Nov. 7 - Wall Street workers were still nervous on their way to work Monday as Greece moved one step closer to solving a political upheaval that threatens that country's international bailout. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Europe is on the mind of New Yorkers headed to work in the Wall Street area. Over the weekend, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stepped down paving the way for a new caretaker government to push through unwelcomed austerity measures. Some who work in the financial sector say that may not be enough to stop the crisis. SOUNDBITE: BLAKE JOHN, A NEW YORKER WORKING ON WALL STREET (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The vote, the referendum will not generate the new income, right? Because that will not really write off, increase the living standard, as well as write off the debt. So really fundamentally they need to work out a better solution effectively to solve the economy." SOUNDBITE: CHRIS COLASANTI, A NEW YORKER WORKING ON WALL STREET (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think its spiraling downward both here and in Europe and I don't see that there's really any way out of it to be honest with you, I don't. Unless we give up our social programs, this is not going to happen. And no one's willing to do that voluntarily." But other New Yorkers were optimistic about things in Europe and at home. SOUNDBITE: STEVEN COHN, A NEW YORKER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The way the market here fluctuates like a yo-yo, I think things are just very, very fragile. But at least that sort of puts a band-aid on the situation." SOUNDBITE: JOHN PEZZOLANTI, A NEW YORKER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The world economy is more integrated than it ever was going back in history. So, yes, the leaders of the countries have to get together. And yes, I think the U.S. economy is key to it. If we have a strong economy than I think Europe will be better off in the long run as well." But investors on Wall Street and around the world are already looking past Greece and are now focusing on Italy. The Italian government continues to pay higher prices to finance its debt. Benchmark government bond yields have hit their highest since before the euro started being used. And Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is blamed for badly handling the crisis, is hanging on to his job by a thread. Conway Gittens, Reuters