Fri, Jun 21, 2013 5:31 PM EDT 1:04
Britain's equivalent to the U.S. National Security Agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, has tapped into many of the world's key international fiber optic cables and is routinely downloading and analyzing vast quantities of Internet and phone traffic, sharing the data with the NSA. New banking regulators in Britain are looking to cut risk in the country's financial sector. New demands will require Britain's banks to raise 13 billion pounds - or nearly 20.5 billion dollars - of extra capital and meet a new cap on lending well ahead of international peers. Half-way towards a lost decade for Europe's economy, pessimism persists about the political will to halt a worrying slide in the region's potential growth. Without sweeping reforms to boost productivity, Europe's output will remain sub-par, making it harder for governments to reduce debt burdens that are unsustainable financially and unemployment rates that are unsustainable socially.