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Live Chat: Do we really need Europe?

Our Live Chat today drew lots of questions, but the one that seems to be on most people’s Monday is pretty simple: Should we really care about what happens to an economy halfway around the world?

The answer is also simple: yes.

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of European food or culture, you need Europe. The U.S. and Europe are the two largest, most interrelated economies in the world. It’s a huge market for American goods. No matter the political differences, in a global economy, the U.S. and Europe need each other.

Europe’s internal political infighting may also seem to be far removed from American life. Sure, even if Greece drops the euro and starts printing its own currency, your ATM will still work and the machine will still spit out cash. (As long as you’re not overdrawn.)

But a breakup of the euro would certainly be felt in the U.S. – and around the world. It would unravel the  economic union that the euro was created to produce. That would send Europe – and the world – back into recession. For now, the loss of Greece as a member would be sustainable. But as Europe’s third largest economy, Italy is a much more important player in this tragedy.

Here are the rest of our answers – to some really great questions:

 Click on the link below to replay the chat.