By Ramsey Cox
“Europe continues to matter a great deal to the U.S. economic engine and our prospects for growth," Shaheen said in a statement Wednesday. "As events unfold in Europe, we need a clear picture of the exposure of U.S. financial institutions to the eurozone so that we can avoid frozen credit for small businesses and consumers.”
“Americans have witnessed the financial instability in Europe and continue to wonder how it will impact our country and our economy,” said Barrasso. “The United States needs to clearly identify our risks and vulnerabilities in order to limit the fallout from the eurozone crisis here at home. The more information we have, the more power we’ll have to help protect American jobs and investments.”
In the letter, Barrasso and Shaheen, who serve on the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on European Affairs, cite an OFR report that said a European debt crisis is a risk to U.S. financial stability but describes the direct exposure of U.S. financial institutions to Europe as “relatively small.”
“As the debate on the future of the eurozone continues to evolve, we are troubled by the repercussions that this ongoing regional instability — from countries that combined make up our single largest trading partner — will have on our own tenuous economic recovery,” the letter stated.
They said a detailed report from Geithner would help lawmakers know the specific vulnerabilities in order to develop precautionary measures.