PODCAST: Mystery bill, Egypt credit goes downhill

Salvation Army bell ringer volunteers William Schmidt (L) and his grandson Bubba Wellens (R) ring their bells watching a donation into a kettle outside a grocery store on November 24, 2012, in Clifton, Virgina.

Fiscal cliff negotiations will likely dominate the conversation in the weeks ahead, but what economic issues will Washington be talking about the rest of 2013? All week we're looking ahead at 2013 with our reporters. This morning, Marketplace Washington reporter David Gura shares his predictions.

Elsewhere, Standard & Poor's cut Egypt's credit rating and says it might do it again if the political situation there worsens. Today's move comes as President Mohammed Morsi's party claims to have won a vote on controversial changes to the constitution.

The outgoing prime minister of Italy, Mario Monti, says he's ready to lead the country again. Monti resigned on Friday, triggering an election in the new year. But, he says he'll consider a second term if a political party will back his economic agenda.

Clean-up from Hurricane Sandy is far from over. 2012 turned out to be a remarkable year for extreme weather damage. In America there were 11 disasters where damage cost a billion dollars or more, amounting the second worst year in history.

And finally, the mystery of a thousand dollar bill dropped in a West Virginia Salvation Army kettle. A mysterious donor wrapped the rare bill in an ordinary dollar and slipped it into a kettle outside a grocery store. The same thing has happened around Christmas for more than 30 years. The charity has no idea who does it, but is happy to receive the gift. One-thousand dollar bills have been out of circulation for decades. The one in the kettle is from 1928.

About the author

Mark Garrison is a reporter for Marketplace and substitute host for the Marketplace Morning Report, based in New York.

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