A deterioration of Europe's debt crisis is the first thing analysts name when asked about economic threats in 2012. And by most accounts it's almost certain that things are going to get worse.
"It's going to blow up," said Harry Clark, head of Clark Capital Management. "They aren't doing enough to stop the problem."
The question is, just how bad will things get? Clark thinks several of the southern European countries will leave the euro and return to their previous currencies.
He says that will lead to massive bank failures in both Europe and the United States and plunge Europe into a "deep recession by the end of the first quarter of 2012."
Scarily, those aren't even the most dire predictions. Some fear the euro could disappear altogether, with Europe reverting to the type of ultra-nationalism that plagued the continent in the runup to WWII.
President of European Central Bank says euro is "irreversible" even though he sees tougher time for banks in coming year, and ECB talks of rising contagion risk.
|5 disturbing stats on black-white financial inequality|
|Sears clobbered after 9th straight quarterly loss|
|Twinkie bakery to close, putting 400 out of work|
|Bank of America to pay $16.65 billion over mortgages|
|Remington shifts jobs from New York to Alabama|