Mr. KIRK. Too often, the Congress focuses on problems of the past, not dangers to come. Last month, the Greek Government lost its AAA credit rating. On May 19, Greece will have to pay $10 billion in loans that it does not have the money to cover. The market will only lend now at a 24 percent interest rate. Estimates are that an IMF Greek bailout will cost $100 billion.
On Monday, Portugal lost its AAA rating, and this news triggered a sudden loss in our own stock market. Yesterday, Spain lost its credit rating, and the Spanish problem is five times the size of the Greek problem. Italy and Ireland may be next. We may soon face a sovereign debt crisis.
CRS reports that the IMF has $268 billion to lend, an amount that could quickly be exceeded by a European debt crisis. The IMF may not have the resources to handle this crisis, and the Fed and the U.S. taxpayer may be called on to bail out these irresponsible governments. Few in Congress even know of this danger to our economy and to our family incomes.