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Concerns about banks in Europe are affecting markets around the world. Several European banks are heavily invested in sovereign debt markets in Italy and Spain that are increasingly risky. Major US banks are closely connected to the fate of European banks as well. Investors are also worried that the risk of recession in Europe and the US is growing. That would place further stress on the banking systems. Economists are also worried about widespread austerity programs that are being implemented in many countries. They fear that government cutbacks in spending could increase the risk of recession.