After a week of market turmoil over the worsening eurozone crisis, hopes are high that the appointment of economist Mario Monti to head a technocratic government in Italy will reassure lenders that the country can speed economic overhaul. Monti could face obstruction from lawmakers of outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party.
The state's pension system is $9 billion in the red. It doesn't even have half of the money it needs to pay future retirees. If lawmakers do nothing, it's predicted that in seven years, 20 percent of the state budget will be mailed out in pension checks.
Analysts are predicting a fairly good year for retailers over the holiday season. Those sales are expected to increase 3 percent overall and go up 15 percent for online retailers. Plus, this is the first year tablets like the iPad may make an impact on the retail landscape.
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Republican co-chair of the panel in charge of slashing the nation's deficit, called the deliberations a "roller-coaster ride." Members are working to bridge their differences over taxes and entitlement programs.
President Barack Obama is meeting with the leaders of Asian and Pacific countries in Hawaii this weekend. The president is expected to use the Asia-Pacific economic summit to emphasize his effort to pivot the U.S. away from Europe and towards the Pacific in the coming century. NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president and has more.
The flailing housing market has yet to show major signs of recovery, which is bad news for today's home sellers. But even worse, the slump could permanently reduce the net wealth of an entire generation.
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