As our nation struggles to boost a lethargic economy, the candidates for president are likely to spend a great deal of time and money in September and October telling us just how they plan to get that job done.
Surely, many of us will pay attention to what they have to say. As well we should, because it is important to our future, and both candidates offer different perspectives and ideas.
But the presidential race is not the only place that those of us worried about the future of the American economy should cast our gaze. The months of September and October are going to be extraordinarily eventful months in the eurozone crisis. And make no mistake, we in the United States care very much about what happens there. At least, we should care.
We have seen wild fluctuations in our own stock market driven by both good and bad news out of Europe.
If you have a 401(k) or a pension fund or an IRA or are invested in the stock market at all, now is the time to begin paying attention to Europe.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank will meet to talk about a government bond-buying program. It may not sound all that exciting, but it is the first in a series of events any one of which could alter the course of history.
In the next two months, Greece will unveil its new budget cuts to bailout inspectors; Germany's high court will rule on the constitutionality of the eurozone's permanent bailout fund; elections in the Netherlands
On top of all that activity, Greece continues to make noise about leaving the EU altogether because it doesn't like the tough terms of its bailout. Meanwhile, Finland, one of the most robust economies in Europe, is also muttering about pulling out because it is tired of supporting countries such as Greece that have spent irresponsibly.
Trying to hold all of this together will be no easy task. But there was some good news last week as China told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that it would continue to buy European bonds in its effort to help the eurozone resolve its sovereign debt crisis.
But even that assurance came with the caveat that China would continue "fully evaluating risk." In other words, we will help you now, but ...
We have heard it before, but the truth is that the day of reckoning for the eurozone is upon us. It is on the brink of a financial cliff, and if it goes over that cliff or if it falls apart, the impact on our economy will be devastating and could likely send the globe into a massive recession.