In the United States this week, the focus of speeches and political debates will be jobs. It's not surprising. With almost 30 million Americans out of work, under-employed or so frustrated that they've stopped looking for a job, it's the issue that is widely considered to be the game-changer as far as next year's presidential election is concerned.
But as urgent as the jobs crisis is, it is only one of a stunning array of economic crises and potential flashpoints competing for the attention of top politicians and making investors extremely uneasy. You see, the main contagion problem confronting the global economy is not that one of these economic troubles will erupt in one place and spread to other countries -- but rather that there will be a domino effect among these crises, even as each spreads geographically.
Here are the top 10 in terms of their apparent relative urgency and potential global impact at this moment:
10. The U.S. Deficit
This is an issue that has virtually no urgency. That doesn't mean it is not important. It is. But right now, it is at the back of the line and if the U.S. punted on it (as we will) for the next 18 months, it would not be the end of the world -- provided it looks like we really have plans to address the problem and we are aggressively using the moment to produce deficit-reducing growth as best we can.
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