Who do you think is most to blame for the fiscal impasse?

Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

    40 %
    410 votes
    41 %
    422 votes
    4 %
    37 votes
    15 %
    All of them!
    156 votes

Total Responses: 1,025
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.




Federal Reserve Board policymakers face a terrible dilemma. They can’t do what needs to be done to stimulate a near moribund economy. And what they can do won’t help very much.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 3, 2012 1:27PM

By Merrill GooznerThe Fiscal Times


Federal Reserve Board policymakers, meeting this past week in Washington, face a terrible dilemma. They can’t do what needs to be done to stimulate a near moribund economy. And what they can do won’t help very much.
The dilemma stems from the core problems facing the economy, which slowed to 1.5 percent in the second quarter. First and foremost is the continued economic drag from government budget cuts, which has cost over 600,000 state and local public employees their jobs over the past 18 months and over 50,000 federal employees their jobs in the past year. Without those job losses, unemployment in the U.S. would be a half to a full percentage point less than what it is today, economists say.


Obama can't breathe easy as the US economy remains moribund.

By Jonathan Berr Aug 3, 2012 1:14PM
July's unexpectedly strong jobs report, which sent the stock market into the stratosphere, is no cause for celebration, though it does offer reason for optimism.

The 163,000 increase in non-farm payrolls is partly due to the automakers laying off fewer employees than expected.  US auto sales should continue to be fairly strong because many people have held onto their cars for longer periods and many of these vehicles are showing signs of age.  General Motors and Ford Motor both generated strong earnings in North America in the last quarter that were overshadowed by losses in Europe.  Even with an expected slowdown, US auto sales are on pace to have their best year since 2007.

Do big banks need to be broken up?

By The Fiscal Times Jul 31, 2012 12:05PM
By Merrill GooznerThe Fiscal Times

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s admission on Wednesday that he failed to blow the whistle on the Libor scandal and former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill’s call to break up the banking behemoths seem at first blush to have little in common.

But they are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. 

Come September and October, action groups can expect to fork out as much as 4 times what individual candidates pay.

By MSNMoney partner Jul 27, 2012 8:53AM

By Julie Bykowicz


To make his closing argument to Iowa voters on the day of the Jan. 3 caucuses, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent $1,000 to air a minute- long television ad during one of the Des Moines market's top- rated morning news programs.


The same airtime on CBS affiliate KCCI-TV was in demand by a super PAC helping Romney, and Restore Our Future paid a 50 percent premium to place its commercial.


The power of political action groups isn't just in their ability to buy airtime. Their more insidious function may be influencing legislation before a single dollar is spent.

By MSNMoney partner Jul 27, 2012 8:38AM

By Ezra Klein


Campaigns need votes to win. But they need money simply to survive. They get that money from a vanishingly small percentage of Americans.


According to Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, only 0.26 percent of Americans give more than $200 to congressional campaigns. Only 0.05 percent give the maximum amount to any congressional candidate. Only 0.01 percent -- 1 percent of 1 percent -- give more than $10,000 in an election cycle. And in the current presidential election, 0.000063 percent of Americans -- fewer than 200 of the country's 310 million residents -- have contributed 80 percent of all super-PAC donations.


The GOP candidate's trip to Europe skips over the toughest problem.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 26, 2012 3:52PM
By Josh BoakThe Fiscal Times

Mitt Romney travels abroad this week to polish his presidential resume. But since Romney will avoid confronting head-on the vicious sovereign debt crisis in Europe that already appears to have engulfed the American economy, the trip may seem more like a vacation.

The presumptive Republican nominee plans to jet across the continent without setting foot inside the eurozone, the 17 countries bound together by a shared currency that are struggling to rescue the debt-ridden nations of Greece, Italy and Spain. Bailout packages for all three have done little to restore growth and calm jittery markets, which plunged again on Monday ahead of a visit by European officials to assess efforts by the Greek government to reduce its debt burden. 

Commentary: There is no evidence that the company has discriminated against gays.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 26, 2012 3:46PM

Chick-fil-A's views on gay marriage are neither new nor surprising, and the rush to vilify the chicken restaurant chain has got one serious flaw: There is no evidence that the company has ever mistreated lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employees or customers.

That's the view of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LBGT civil-rights organization, and the NOH8 Campaign, which is organizing a boycott of the Atlanta company because its charitable arm "contributes to organizations directly working to defeat marriage equality and even groups attempting to convert gay people to heterosexual lifestyles." The chain, however, may not be the first choice for LBGT members to dine or work.

As Congress bickers over the future of the system, the USPS faces its first default ever.

By Kim Peterson Jul 23, 2012 11:38AM
The Postal Service has two massive payments this year that it simply doesn't have the money for, and it's expecting to default for the first time.

The service owes a $5.5 billion payment due Aug. 1 that was deferred from fiscal 2011, The New York Times reports. Then it has $5.6 billion payment due at the end of September. 


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Follow Republican and Democratic presidential candidates as they battle for the White House. Explore how monetary and fiscal policies affect your finances. Get insightful analysis of the American political economy and the latest news on the 2012 election.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.



Quotes delayed at least 15 min
Sponsored by:


There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have worked their way off the opening lows, placing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite back above their respective flat lines.

Despite the rebound, the technology sector (-0.1%) continues showing relative weakness with Apple (AAPL 100.37, -1.27) hovering near its early low. However, the Nasdaq has been able to overlook Apple's underperformance thanks to the relative strength in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB ... More


There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
MSN Mobile: Go to msn.com in your phone's browser.