White House and Obama administration officials expressed concern Thursday that European leaders were not acting quickly enough to contain the economic crisis in Greece.
The Greek economic crisis could be a drag on the U.S. economic recovery as it was last year, as well as exacting psychological damage on consumer and market confidence. A further crisis could be a deterrent to economic growth, as have been high energy prices and the disaster in Japan.
Earlier this month, during the White House visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the president impressed upon her the need for Europe to act quickly and decisively.
“We think it would be disastrous for us to see an uncontrolled spiral and default in Europe because that could trigger a whole range of other events," he said.
Behind the scenes, administration sources told ABC News, the Obama administration has been pressing Germany not to demand austerity measures of Greece that would be so tough the country could have even more of a challenge recovering than already exists.
The Treasury Department has been pushing French and German banks to recapitalize and to undergo more serious and credible stress tests to show economic markets they can withstand a Greece calamity.