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How Europe's Troubles Could Become Ours, Too

If Greece, Spain, Italy or other European governments were to suddenly default on their debts, European banks could find themselves holding worthless assets and becoming insolvent. That could lead to a global financial meltdown worse than the one in 2008.
NPR

Poor Economy Defers Small Idaho Town's Dream

Unemployment is especially stubborn in rural places. In central Idaho, the recession has left Fairfield struggling for survival. Not long ago, it was poised for growth, but this summer, unemployment topped 16 percent.
NPR

Congress Tries, But Still Can't Save Payroll Tax Cuts

People who are lucky enough to have jobs could still see a cut in their paychecks next month unless Congress votes to extend a payroll tax cut. NPR's Scott Horlsey and Tamara Keith join host Scott Simon to talk about the status of the cut.
NPR

Complicity In Crisis: Can We Trust Ratings Agencies?

The current world economic crisis has raised hard questions about the assessments made by the big three ratings firms, S&P, Moody's and Fitch. It's also brought charges that they not only missed the onset of financial crisis, but helped fuel it with faulty judgments. Host Scott Simon talks with Roben Farzad, a senior writer for Bloomberg-Businessweek.
NPR

Eurozone's Rescue Plan Needs A Quick Fix

European leaders meet in Brussels next week with an urgent mission: Agree on a plan that to keep debt-ridden countries like Greece and Spain from default and save the euro. NPR's Eric Westervelt has the latest on efforts by European leaders.
NPR

Behind Unemployment Figure, A Nuanced Outlook

The U.S. unemployment rate took a big tumble in November, from 9 percent to 8.6 percent, according to the government's monthly jobs data. Still, it's probably too soon pop the champagne corks. A combination of forces caused the big drop, some good and some bad.

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