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12:17pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Economy

Even Finish Masks Volatile Year For U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 4:16 pm

A trader walks in New York City's financial district on Sept. 12, a day when stocks fell early based on fears that the Greek government would default, then rallied on news that China might buy Italian debt. This year, what sent the market into a tailspin often took place overseas.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

2011 was a year of crisis and revolution, and that took a big toll on the world's financial markets. In the United States, stocks lurched along for much of the year, losing and gaining ground over and over again.

Stock prices are ending the year just about where they were at the beginning, and anyone who invested in anything but the bluest of blue chip stocks probably didn't make much money. And yet, the flat trend lines masked a huge amount of volatility, says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank.

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11:48am

Fri December 30, 2011
Education

Big Education Grants Threatened By Teacher Spats

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 4:58 pm

Teachers and school districts say they agree that better teacher evaluations are needed, but they can't agree on the details. Now, those disputes threaten federal grants meant to encourage education reform.

Take New York state, which has a lot of failing schools. Those schools got more than $100 million in federal School Improvement Grants. In exchange, districts promised to phase in new evaluation systems.

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11:47am

Fri December 30, 2011
Music News

Leaders Wanted: Protest Songs From The Arab Spring

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 3:40 pm

Tunisian rapper El Général's "The President of the Country" is an essential song of the Arab Spring.
Courtesy of the artist

11:46am

Fri December 30, 2011
Music Interviews

Winter Songs: The Frozen Tale Of 'Lord Franklin'

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 1:24 pm

We continue our Winter Song series with a lament for a 19th century British Arctic explorer. It's the choice of Andrew Revkin, who writes the Dot Earth blog for the New York Times.

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11:41am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

'An Extraordinary Battle': Judge Claims SEC Misled Court In Citi Cases

A man walks by a Citibank branch at the U.S. bank Citigroup world headquarters on Park Avenue, in New York in 2008.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruffled feathers back in November when he refused to approve a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commision and Citigroup.

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