President Barack Obama and the White House harbor morbid fears that Europe will implode and take the U.S. economy down with it in an election year, sources close to the president told The Financial Times.
"The thing that matters the most in determining the health of the U.S. economy and job creation is what happens in Europe," a senior administration official tells the Financial Times.
The administration is trying to push through payroll tax cut extensions through Congress and may roll out fresh stimulus measures to keep the economy growing and out of recession territory, but a meltdown in Europe could unravel everything.
Even diplomats are speaking more bluntly than normal.
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"The president has made clear repeatedly he would like to see bolder, quicker, more decisive action by European leaders," says Obama's Ambassador to the European Union William Kennard, the FT adds.
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Other experts agree a European meltdown could send shockwaves through the U.S. political arena.
"There is no question that if the eurozone crisis continued and it started to break apart there would be a severe economic impact and political consequences," says Tony Fratto, a Treasury adviser under George W. Bush, according to the FT.
Governments in Europe don't want to see the eurozone collapse, and calls for more painful fiscal discipline measures to save the currency are growing.
"We have to have better coordination, more fiscal discipline. All those countries who have debt problems should do their homework," Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter tells CNBC.
"A breakdown is only to the benefit of those who are speculating on the breakdown. It doesn’t help the population, it doesn’t help the politicians, it doesn’t help the states," Fekter said.
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