Downgrades, Debt Crises and Double Dips
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Downgrades, Debt Crises and Double Dips

The world is watching for the impact of history's first downgrading of the credit rating of the United States. How important is it? How worried should Americans be? Also, tomorrow's recall elections in Wisconsin. Can Republicans hold on?

Banner image: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the opening bell August 8, 2011. Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Making News

President Obama Deflects Blame for US Credit Downgrade ()

After a weekend of silence, President Obama addressed the S&P downgrade and the economy this afternoon from a White House dining room. He said that the US didn't need a rating agency's downgrade to know we need a "balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction" and an end to gridlock in Washington. He also expressed his sorrow over the loss of 38 US and Afghan soldiers who died when a Chinook helicopter was shot down this weekend in Afghanistan. Ian Katz reports for Bloomberg News.

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Main Topic

The S&P Downgrade: Economics and Politics ()

Fingers of blame are being pointed in every direction as Wall Street and world financial markets react to history's first downgrade of America's credit rating. Standard and Poor's is taking its own licks for bad mathematics and because other ratings firms are keeping the US at AAA. Is President Obama at fault?  What about Tea Party Republicans and European economies?  Why are US Treasuries still the safest place to be?  What's next for local governments and individuals with home and auto loans?

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Reporter's Notebook

Nation Watches as Wisconsin Prepares for Recall Elections ()

Wisconsin's new Governor, Scott Walker, with majorities in both legislative houses, cut spending and stripped state workers of collective bargaining, the kind of actions Republicans have been looking for nationwide. But there's been a backlash and, tomorrow, six Republican Senators face recall elections, with the results likely to be very close. Mary Spicuzza reports on state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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