Traders Richard Cohen (left) and Lewis Vande-Pallen work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 21. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Shoppers look at a display at the Dadeland Mall in Miami on Nov. 25. Princeton professor Sheldon Garon says Americans spend too much and save too little compared to Europeans and Asians. Lynne Sladky/AP hide caption

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Daniel Kryger, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If the European Union can't agree on a plan, its debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Workers process orders at an fulfillment center in Swansea, Wales, as they prepare for their busiest time of the year. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned Congress that automatic across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon's budget would "invite aggression from U.S. adversaries." Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Supercommittee member, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., third from left, holds his hand out at a hearing Oct. 26. From left are, Supercommittee Co-Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Baucus, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Workers prepare new Volkswagen Golf cars at a factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Prices are about a third lower than they were in 2006, and they are continuing to drop in most cities. The National Association of Realtors says that this summer, prices fell nearly 5 percent compared with last year. David J. Phillip/AP hide caption

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Judy Moses, 71, prepares to be arrested during an Occupy Chicago protest against cuts to federal safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, on Monday. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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