By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Thursday was yet another day of stock market free-fall, driven, the experts say, by grimly familiar bad news: consumer prices, up; unemployment, up; home sales, down sharply. And another major factor — an economic and political meltdown in Europe.

That makes our problems seem like a day at the beach by comparison.

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Professor Jay Sultan of Bentley University is an expert on international finance. He says if you think crowd scenes like the endless lines at job fairs are a sign of tough times, consider the chaos in Greece, Italy, and other Euro-zone nations plagued by astronomical unemployment and debt.

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We’ve struggled to find political compromise in this country, but when you hear talk of a global recession, it’s triggered in large part by the epic European failure to find solutions.

Perhaps a vacation-refreshed President and Congress will return after Labor Day and find compromise.

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But unless the Europeans can do the same, look for Wall Street’s stomach-turning roller-coaster ride to continue.

Jon Keller