In the first week of the year, the biggest news was the Republican caucus in Iowa. In case you didn't hear, Mitt Romney won ... by eight votes.
In financial news, there were some good, and not so good, developments.
In the good pile: Manufacturing turned out to be one of the few bright spots in the current economy. That was a surprise considering that manufacturing has been on a long, slow decline in our country, as evidenced by some of the not so good financial news: Fallen corporate titan Kodak is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Former employees called it "the Apple or Google of its time" in a Wall Street Journal story. Also not good: A New York Times report that economic mobility in the U.S. is lower than in Europe or Canada.
But we got a reality check when we found out that about half of the world's 1% live in the U.S.
At least one development bodes well for the future: A prominent economist gives us new insight into what caused the recession, which may help our economy recover.
The Real Reason We're In a Recession: A Controversial Economic Theory
Fiscal fight! A Nobel Prize-winning economist tells other prominent economists they've got it all wrong about our economy—and the Great Depression.
Recent Spending Patterns Bode Poorly for the Economy in 2012
American economists worry that lackluster spending patterns will carry over into 2012. But why should we care about how many people are buying new sweaters?