• S&P's worst-case scenario may be the most likely

    Standard and Poor's presents three possibilities, and the scariest is the closest to reality: One where we get swallowed by our own debt.

    FORTUNE -- In Friday's report downgrading U.S. sovereign debt, S&P evaluated what it considers the three most likely courses for the budget and the economy. The "base case," the one that not only led to the new AA+ rating, but keeps our long-term debt on "negative" watch, is MORE

    - Aug 9, 2011 5:00 AM ET
  • The truth about the bluster in Beijing

    The noises coming from Washington's largest creditor sound threatening. But there is no chance -- none -- that China will walk away from the U.S.

    By Bill Powell, editor-at-large

    FORTUNE -- "The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone..." -- China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

    It's been MORE

    Aug 8, 2011 10:07 AM ET
  • Why government cuts won't hurt growth

    S&P has a point: We need to cut more spending. Debunking the Keynesian argument that the forthcoming spending cuts will be a job and growth killer.

    FORTUNE -- Congress may have narrowly escaped a debt debacle last week, but it couldn't agree on enough cuts to satisfy Standard & Poor's, which downgraded U.S. sovereign debt after the deal's $2.1 trillion in proposed cuts came in below the $4 trillion the rating MORE

    - Aug 8, 2011 5:00 AM ET
  • Debt, deficits, divisiveness: How did we get here?

    We've been here before, with growing deficits and political gamesmanship over the debt ceiling. Here are four factors that made it different this time.

    FORTUNE – After weeks of political wrangling and name calling, Congress this week finally approved plans to cut the deficit and raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit.  The move may have saved Americans from a financially disastrous default, but the experience was, at best, anti-climatic.

    All the MORE

    - Aug 4, 2011 11:52 AM ET
  • We're all losers in the debt deal

    Washington thinks it won a victory on the debt ceiling debate, but a victory for whom remains the question -- it will do very little to alleviate the bleak fiscal outlook of the United States.

    By Daryl G. Jones, Hedgeye

    The debt deal is done and, despite the best fear mongering by both parties and many of the talking heads on TV, the credit markets -- both Treasury yields and credit defaults MORE

    Aug 3, 2011 10:41 AM ET
  • Staring down a AA-rating

    A deal was reached, but it didn't go far enough to satisfy S&P's original requirements. A debt downgrade still looks likely, but does it really matter?

    FORTUNE -- The U.S. might have avoided a debt default and a government shutdown, but the deal Congress reached to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit does little to improve its long-term fiscal position. After weeks of political wrangling that culminated in a rushed MORE

    - Aug 2, 2011 11:13 AM ET
  • Debt deal needs a QE3 plan

    Most of the spending cuts won't kick in until 2013, but it's not clear the U.S. economy will be ready to handle the blow even then.

    FORTUNE -- Markets today initially cheered the rough sketches of a highly anticipated deal to raise the U.S. government's debt limit, but how the nation's fragile economic recovery responds will depend on the final details of the plan and how it eventually rolls out.

    After weeks MORE

    - Aug 1, 2011 1:09 PM ET
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  • Pity the federal worker. Washington won't.

    Think the latest GDP numbers are bad? Just wait until the stiffs who punch the clock for Uncle Sam have their paychecks in limbo if no resolution on the debt ceiling is reached.

    By Tory Newmyer, writer

    FORTUNE -- The austerity consensus among policymakers in the debt ceiling debate has ensured that the federal workforce will face cuts -- just how much is still unknown. And as soon as next week, government employees MORE

    Jul 29, 2011 12:37 PM ET
  • Nothing but a Congressional comb-over

    Even when a compromise is reached, the current bills proposed to lower the deficit are merely covering up long-term budget deficit issues that will need to be addressed again in the next 12 to 18 months.

    By Daryl G. Jones, Hedgeye

    Discussion of the debt ceiling debate has become the one of the most overhyped factors in global markets and it is a little depressing to analyze the political shenanigans going on in MORE

    Jul 29, 2011 11:14 AM ET
  • Who's missing from debt talks? Corporate America.

    The business lobby has entered the debt ceiling debate at the 11th hour with only a whimper, considering the stakes of a default for corporations.

    By Tory Newmyer, writer

    FORTUNE -- If the specter of a default has spooked corporate America, you wouldn't know it by watching their hired guns in Washington over the last several weeks.

    Aside from sending a handful of letters urging Congress to act, the big business lobby has MORE

    Jul 28, 2011 11:25 AM ET
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