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After Plan B, what's next for the fiscal cliff

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) pauses while speaking during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington, D.C. House Republicans could not agree to support Boehner's proposed 'Plan B' initiative yesterday and now must find a new way to reach agreement with U.S. President Barack Obama on a deficit reduction deal.

There'll be a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff this next week as Congress contemplates the next steps to take, but our Weekly Wrappers have suggested some other topics for your weekend reading.

CNBC's John Carney picked these online pieces:

  • Pope Benedict XVI in the Financial Times: "It is in the Gospel that Christians find inspiration for their daily lives and their involvement in worldly affairs -- be it in the Houses of Parliament or the Stock Exchange. Christians shouldn’t shun the world; they should engage with it."
  • Bill Ackman's epic takedown of Herbalife -- all 343 slides.
  • 2012: The Year of Bank Fraud. All this year's accusations, as compiled by Ben Walsh for Reuters.

And Leigh Gallagher from Fortune magazine has these recommendations:


President Obama spoke publicly again on the fiscal cliff today, saying he expected members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to return from Christmas break ready to make a deal. "And I will immediately sign that legislation into law before Jan. 1st of next year," he said. "It's that simple."

Gallagher says Obama's speech wasn't saying anything new.

"He's coming out, saying more of the same but applying some of the Christmas pressure," says Gallagher. "Like when we get back, the implication is he's not going to soften -- this has got to get done. I also thought it was interesting, he said no one gets 100 percent -- which is, again, something we've been saying -- but this isn't a contest about who looks good. So that was sort of a dig, I thought."

Carney remains skeptical that all will be solved before the Dec. 31st deadline.

"I think when they do come back from their Christmas breaks, they're going to have exactly the same impasse," he says. "Obama called himself a hopeless optimist -- which is a little bit of a contradiction in terms -- but I think he's way too optimistic about the possibility of getting something done before Jan. 1st."

Listen to the full segment for more about how the markets are reacting to the fiscal cliff, and whether going off the cliff could lead to another recession.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk.

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