Stacks of books

Google held a contest and asked Americans to create visuals detailing where our tax dollars go. If you can bear to look, here are the winners.

In the unlikely event that you missed it, Standard & Poor’s downgraded its outlook on U.S. debt from stable to negative. Was it no big dealthe Economist certainly thought so—or an alarming shot across Washington’s bow?

Adding to the debate of gold as currency, the University of Texas endowment took physical delivery of $1 billion of gold.

What’s more important, preserving entitlements or cutting the national debt? A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 78% of Americans pick the former.

What’s the connection between the market’s resilience in the face of adversity (Japan, Portugal, S & P) and QE2? In the Wall Street Journal, David Cottle argues that you couldn’t have the one without the other. Then again, the Journal’s Jason Zweig argues that the Fed’s monetary policy has hurt the blue chips. Then again, University of Chicago economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that Fed policymaking has helped the housing market, but hasn’t affected much else.

How do cities remain resilient and grow? (Or not.) In a new paper called “Cities, Skills, and Regional Change,” economists Edward Glaeser, Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto and Kristina Tobio consider what makes cities boom and bust.