Financial apocalypse 2012

The Mayan calendar says the world is supposed to end next December. But plenty of things could help wreck the global economy before then. Here's six of them.

Collapse of the Euro zone
Collapse of the Euro zone

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.

By Steve Hargreaves @CNNMoney - Last updated December 27 2011: 10:24 AM ET
Join the Conversation
ECB's Draghi: Euro breakup is

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.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.