The deficit, the debt, downgraded credit rating -- It's complicated!
Search for terms like "downgrade" and "deficit" in your electronic edition this week. As the week goes on, are there more or fewer stories on those topics.
Are those stories featured on the front page or buried in the Business section? What does that tell you about the relative importance the newspaper places on the topic?
Now search for more wonky terms like "financial stability" and "liquidity." Can you define those terms just from the context of the stories you find?
While financial gurus around the world yesterday tried to grasp what a world without "risk-free" U.S. debt will look like, the country that has served as America's primary cash machine for the past two decades was quick to register its disgust with "debt-ridden Uncle Sam."
Rising costs: The U.S.'s first-ever downgrade could raise borrowing costs for government, business and consumers. For already skittish investors, it's just the latest in a string of jolting bad news.
Little effect: U.S. stock futures took a dive Monday, as government efforts to calm markets in the wake of the first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt had little effect.
Crisis of confidence: The biggest question isn't how much the S&P downgrade is going to affect the stock market on Monday, but how many dominoes will continue to fall as part of the broader crisis of confidence. The downgrade surely won't help -- but it's just one more log thrown on the fire that is already burning pretty darn hot.
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