Congress had debt on the brain in 2011—fights over the debt ceiling, the Supercommittee, the Bush tax cuts, and voucherizing Medicare—but it amounted to just talk. It was a weird issue to focus on in the year before a big election, since most voters find unemployment and the general economy more important problems to tackle than the federal deficit. And, it turns out that this obsession with the debt was a bad idea for more than Congress' approval rating. Bloomberg reported that there was record demand this year for U.S. government bonds, making it cheaper for the U.S. to finance its debt now than it was during the surpluses in the 90s. While Congress was mired in a battle over the deficit, the market was begging the government to borrow more.
- Obama in Fresh Move to Fill Fed Seats Financial Times
- Successful Italian Bond Sale Cuts Its Borrowing Costs The Guardian
- For Wall Street Deal Makers, Sometimes it Pays to Be Bad The New York Times
- Food Stamp Rush Hour Bloomberg Businessweek
CHART OF THE DAY
REASON TO GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING
An Egyptian court has forbidden the country's Army from subjecting female detainees to "virginity tests," giving a victory to activist Samira Ibrahim, the only person to stand up against the government and take her case to court.