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

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    All of them!
    156 votes

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Obama's re-election portends a big fight over the national debt and lots of volatility in financial markets.

By MSNMoney partner Nov 7, 2012 10:31AM

US NewsBy Rick Newman

There's less uncertainty on the political landscape. But there's now more to worry about.


For a short while, Wall Street seemed to be fantasizing about a strong Republican showing in the 2012 elections, which would have brought single-party control to a notoriously fractious and dysfunctional government in Washington, D.C. That's one explanation for why the stock market had a banner day as voters were heading to the polls, rising by nearly 1 percent on a day when there was little tangible news to justify the gain.


Romney made some valid points in his opinion piece calling for an auto industry restructuring. But no one remembers those.

By Kim Peterson Nov 6, 2012 5:21PM
Image: Man changing oil -- Ron Chapple, Getty ImagesFour words have come back to haunt Mitt Romney in his presidential campaign: "Let Detroit go bankrupt."

That's the headline of a 2008 opinion piece Romney wrote in The New York Times. Romney gives the piece an equally incendiary opening: "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye," he wrote. "It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."

Well, that just didn't happen. The auto industry has roared back after the bailouts and is on track to sell 14.3 million cars and trucks this year, up from 13.3 million last year.

Romney made some valid points in his piece, such as his push for fuel-saving designs and new innovation from other industries. 

Whether it's a football game, the angle of the sun or a candidate's height, there are all kinds of barometers.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 6, 2012 12:30PM
By Blaire Briody The Fiscal Times logo

Not everyone likes uncertainty, especially when it comes to electing the next president. Yesterday Romney was on top in some polls, today it's Obama, and some people have had enough of the flip-flopping results. Instead, they’re turning to alternative methods to predict the outcome.

Whether it’s a football game, the angle of the sun, or a candidate’s height, there are all kinds of offbeat ways voters gain peace of mind as to which candidate will win tonight. Here are seven: 

Here are 9 major factors to watch as polling unfolds.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 6, 2012 12:27PM
By Eric Pianin and Josh BoakThe Fiscal Times logo

Following the final scramble for the White House is a bit like watching a tennis match – with heads constantly turning as President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney jet across the country. With Obama holding a narrow lead in the polls, the race is on a razor thin margin. Their schedules seem to defy the laws of time and space.

On Monday, Obama led rallies in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa before heading to Chicago where he will await the returns. Romney appeared Monday in Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and wrapped up the evening at a rally in Manchester, N.H. The former Massachusetts governor will return to Ohio and Pennsylvania today. 

Politicians will have to turn their attention to resolving the budget impasse and find a way to avoid the fiscal cliff.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 6, 2012 12:20PM
By Suzanne McGeeThe Fiscal Times logo
Within hours, the apparently unending stream of 2012 presidential campaign rhetoric will finally be at an end – probably. But even before the inauguration festivities mark the swearing in of the victorious candidate, politicians of both political persuasions, outgoing and incoming, will have to turn their attention to resolving the budget impasse and find a way to avoid the toxic combination of automatic tax increases and mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to kick in on January 1, 2013.

Both candidates have devoted tremendous time and energy over the course of the year to date to spelling out their respective visions for the United States. The problem? Whoever is elected is going to have a tough time moving forward on any front, much less delivering on pledges to transform the country on Day One of their presidency, if in the weeks that elapse between tomorrow’s poll and New Year’s Eve, they fail to avert catastrophe. If the United States manages to run its economy off the “fiscal cliff” like a particularly demented lemming, those grand visions of the future have even less chance than ever of materializing. 

While polls suggest the president will secure the needed 270 electoral votes, it's conceivable that Romney will win the popular vote.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 6, 2012 8:54AM

The Fiscal Times logoBy Eric Pianin and Josh Boak

If the presidential election were any closer, the country might have to consider shared custody.  Even though the polls suggest President Obama will secure the all-important 270 electoral votes needed for victory, it's conceivable that Romney could win the popular vote while Obama wins the presidency.

Only four times in U.S. history has a candidate won the presidency without prevailing in the popularity contest -- most recently  President George W. Bush's highly controversial victory over Democrat Al Gore in a 2000 election that eventually was determined by a ruling of the Supreme Court. Perhaps more than any other event in recent memory, that election carved the electorate into two intractable camps that seek to undermine the opposition rather than find common ground.


One can argue over how big a role the administration played in the huge market rally since March 2009. Gains for, say, Apple, Caterpillar and others are really due to management skill. But Obama did provide one crucial element to the recovery.

By Charley Blaine Nov 5, 2012 7:44PM

For all of the complaints of the business community about Barack Obama, they can't complain much about what his administration and the Federal Reserve have done for the stock market.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) are up 58.3% since he took office. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) is up 66.7%. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) is up 96.1%. The Russell 2000 Index ($RUT) is up 75.7%.


The standard view of what makes an American 'wealthy' has evolved in the last half-decade or so.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 5, 2012 5:54PM
Image: Senior couple on a yacht -- Digital Vision/Getty ImagesBy Jason Notte

Regardless of who they're supporting in this year's presidential election, even wealthy Americans aren't feeling nearly as rich as they were in the jumbo mortgaging, BMW-leasing, cell-phone bedazzling, debt-fueled good ol' days of the mid-2000s.

Ipsos Mendelsohn earlier this year asked affluent Americans earning $100,000 or more annually to define who they felt was in the "1%" targeted by Occupy Wall Street. On average, they cited people making at least $1.4 million a year. The bourgeois protests too much.

According to Ipsos, those $100,000 households are in the top 20% to 25% of earners, but think they're in the 38th percentile. 


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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.

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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