Why Greece Should Default
The current European currency crisis is similar in ways to the subprime mortgage crash of 2008, says George Soros. But unfortunately, the Euro's troubles are even more intractable.
What's the Latest Development?
The severity of the European financial crisis is largely a result of a continent-wide political crisis, says billionaire hedge fund investor George Soros. The lack of a central European treasury has too often made state-by-state solutions to the crisis a day late and dollar short. "No concessional [borrowing] rates for Italy or Spain and no preparation for a possible default and defection from the eurozone by Greece" have made the crisis increasingly intractable. Added to that, the Germans have declared the European Financial Stability Facility to be unconstitutional.
What's the Big Idea?
Soros argues that a solution to the European debt crisis might include a Greek default and temporary exit from the eurozone. He outlines four guiding principles: "First, bank deposits have to be protected. ... Second, some banks in the defaulting countries have to be kept functioning in order to keep the economy from breaking down. Third, the European banking system would have to be recapitalized and put under European, as distinct from national, supervision. Fourth, the government bonds of the other deficit countries would have to be protected from contagion."
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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