Over the past week we've gotten a handful of gloomy economic indicators, including durable goods and consumer confidence. Many economists are attributing the slow growth to the government shutdown.
"The economy was already slowing down its pace of growth from earlier in the year. And that's worrying because that happened before the shutdown," says FT Alphaville's Cardiff Garcia. "On the one hand the direct impact of the shutdown should be pretty modest and should be able to reverse itself within the course of a few months. But we don't know that for sure, and it came at a really bad time."
On the other big economic news of the week, economists and analysts are reacting to the reports of the JP Morgan Chase settlement.
"They are not nearly as punitive as they should be, considering how much was lost in the economy, how much was lost in people's homes, how much was lost in job growth," says the Guardian's Heidi Moore. "JP Morgan can pay $13 billion and go on its merry way, the rest of us have still struggling with financial anxiety for the most part."
"I'm tired of the spies telling lies, too." This week, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Obama about NSA spying, the backlash is strengthening against government secrecy. In this op-ed, Rep. Alan Grayson says he's learning more from the media than from Congressional briefings.
The U.S. bailed out big banks over the course of a year but left the middle-class without help. Europe has too. The Economist has a nice piece about how, while Europe was focusing on the indebtedness of its governments, it ignored the bigger problem of indebted households.
On Wall Street, high-frequency trading, the kind done with computers stepping in front of individual investors, the kind of evil, shadowy villain that makes for good dramatic tension and mobilizes the forces of good. Simone Foxman at Quartz has a good description of how one firm, IEX, plans to take on high-frequency trading: the Navy SEALs of trading.