Recession in America? 10 questions assessing the threat.

Concerns about weak economies in Europe have already rattled global financial markets, and things are hardly rosy at home. Is America heading into a recession? Here are answers to 10 questions about that risk.

What can the US do?

The US can try to avoid the worst outcomes. Economic officials can coax their counterparts in Europe toward new rescue plans. The Federal Reserve could pursue monetary easing alongside other central banks, to stave off global recession or deflationary pressures.

Domestically, Obama and Congress could try to extend many of the expiring tax cuts, leaving long-term decisions on deficit reduction for after the elections.

Around February 2013, the federal government is also scheduled to run up against a borrowing limit imposed by Congress. So the tax and spending choices could occur against a backdrop of worry about the Treasury's ability to fund government operations. Many Republicans say the debt ceiling should be raised only if big federal spending cuts are enacted.

10 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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