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Europe in Crisis: 2011 Reflections

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As 2011 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at how we covered some of the biggest news stories of the year.

For the financial markets, at least, no story was as big or as all encompassing as Europe's sovereign debt crisis. By mid-year, it was clear that problems in Greece would not be "contained" as debt yields started to spike in Portugal, Italy and Spain too. By the fourth quarter, Europe's banking system was showing signs of severe strain, raising concerns about a 2008-sytle financial contagion emanating from the Continent.

In November and December, central bankers around the world, very much including the U.S. Federal Reserve, were pulling out all the stops in an effort to prevent Europe's banking system -- if not the eurozone itself -- from collapsing. With the euro as a lynchpin, it seems what happens in Europe is determining the outcome for financial markets almost across the board, including stocks, gold and government debt.

How this story plays out is the biggest wildcard for financial markets and the global economy in 2012.

Greece Cannot Be Saved: If Italy and Spain Follow, So Goes the Entire EU, Says Ruparel

Europe on Edge: What Happens in Greece Will NOT Stay in Greece, Minton Beddoes Says

Euro Euphoria: Stocks Surge on Latest Bailout Plans, Proposals and Rumors

Roubini: Europe's Contagion "Has Now Gone Viral…and Global"

Europe in Crisis: U.S. to the Rescue?

Forget Greece: Europe Suffers From "Banking Crisis" and "Lack of Political Will," Forbes Says

Europe Is "Like the Drowning Man," Dow Says: Policymakers Fix Engine on Car with Faulty Brakes

Actually, the World ISN'T Ending and Europe Will Survive: JPM's Morris

Kotok: Europe ISN'T a Total Train Wreck and the ECB Is Doing More Than You Think

Jim O'Neill: Risk of European Contagion Now "Significantly Reduced"

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