These events, people and ideas shaped our discussion of the global and U.S. economies this year.
The budget and debt ceiling debates The debate over fiscal issues was fiery this year: It brought us to the brink of a government shutdown, threatened to throw America into default and was the source of intense partisan bickering on Capitol Hill. Here, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner meet at the White House in an attempt to negotiate a deal. With payroll tax cuts set to expire in February and the George W. Bush-era tax cuts set to run out later in 2012, this issue will continue to be dominant next year. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images Buy Photo