Even if a deal comes through before Tuesday, it's unlikely that the government can cooperate well enough to prevent a downgrade.
If things close down temporarily, it might show we can do the same with less, a fund manager says. Plus: Video on the budget stalemate.
A bill in Congress would finally stop television ads from blaring at ear-splitting volumes.
At least one fund manager is staying out of the market for the rest of 2010 to avoid political risks.
The search giant's shares jump after results beat estimates. The market withstands selling pressure from bad news on jobs and inflation and more banking worries. Gold briefly hits $1,388.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
The IRS is struggling to combat identify thieves who file fraudulent tax returns in the names of older residents who don't need to file.