European leaders insist they will take all necessary measures to ensure Greece does not default on its debt. A default would throw Greece's economy — and the European banking system — into deeper crisis. But many financial experts are advocating an orderly default. They argue it will be painful but preferable to round-after-round of painful austerity measures and more uncertainty.
At the close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 391.01 points, or 3.5 percent, at 10,733.83. At one point, the Dow fell 527 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite each closed down more than 3 percent.
Stock markets from Tokyo to New York were down sharply Thursday. Major European indices were down 4 percent and 5 percent. In the U.S., the Dow and S&P fell more than 3 percent. Melissa Block talks with NPR's John Ydstie about what's driving the selloff.
Stocks around the world fell sharply Thursday. By midday, the Dow was down about 400 points. Analysts said the Fed's "Operation Twist" was actually a signal that the central bank is still extremely worried about the prospects for recovery.
A number of U.S. mayors have been in Washington this week for meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Their message: We need help. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was in the group from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. And he was the sole Republican. Cornett talks to David Greene about the needs of cities amid the debate over federal budget cuts.
The British government has rejected calls for an easing of its austerity policy in favor of a new fiscal stimulus for the economy. The IMF cut its growth forecasts for Britain on Wednesday — warning that the country was in danger of slipping into recession.
The Federal Reserve has announced a plan to drive long-term interest rates even lower. But with borrowers still too cautious to take on additional debt, will the move have a positive effect? Some experts say they're not holding their breath. "The Fed can only do so much," one analyst says.
Under President Reagan, capital gains were taxed at a higher rate than earned income. Since then, the situation has reversed, and unearned income, the province of the very rich, is taxed at a significantly lower rate than most workers' wages. Polls show the public supports changing this. Will Congress?
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