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

toggle caption Matt Cardy/Getty Images

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

toggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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

toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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

toggle caption Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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

toggle caption David J. Phillip/AP

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

toggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meeting in Berlin on June 28. During Europe's economic crisis, both China and the United States have stayed mostly on the sidelines.

Markus Schreiber/AP hide caption

toggle caption Markus Schreiber/AP

Because of Alexander Hamilton's insistence that the United States pay off its debt, investors came to see the nation as a stable place to do business, biographer Ron Chernow says.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

For speculators, food is a commodity to trade, not eat.

Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

The construction sector added 26,000 jobs in September, reversing a drop a month earlier.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Immelt answers a question from an employee during a town hall meeting at the GE Energy Greenville Operations campus in Greenville, S.C., on July 13. Immelt is chairman of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, an advisory group.

Brett Flashnick/AP hide caption

toggle caption Brett Flashnick/AP

President Obama proposed a $3.7 trillion budget in February. But as the new fiscal year starts, there's still no final budget in place. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor