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Weekly Wrap: The year on Wall Street

Jeremy Hobson Dec 30, 2011

John Carney of CNBC and Leigh Gallagher of Fortune Magazine discuss the year’s news on Wall Street.

On the most negative story of the year:

Leigh Gallagher: I would have to say it was the sort of dysfunction in Washington this year that just led to so much gridlock and protracted bickering whether it was — I guess the pinnacle of that was the negotiations over the debt ceiling which led to our credit being downgraded. But really, it was that, it was endless 11th hour government shutdowns — whether it was stimulus spending or the current payroll tax — just wrangling and bickering and the inability to get anything done as our economic situation kind of just twisted in the wind.

John Carney: I don’t agree actually. I think we discovered something wonderful when our credit got downgraded: It’s that we don’t need to live in fear of credit rating agencies anymore. What happened when we got downgraded? People bought bonds. They bought U.S. Treasuries. So what we discovered is that the United States government — because it controls its own currency, because it will never default no matter what some pinhead at S&P and Moody’s says, our Treasuries are safe.

For more analysis, listen to the full audio above.

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