The Scariest Business Stories of 2011

By Venessa Wong - 2011-11-02T17:07:00Z

Photograph by Alex Wong/Pool

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Debt Ceiling Standoff

When: July
What: America held its breath as a divided Congress refused to reach agreement on raising the U.S. debt ceiling as an Aug. 2 deadline crept closer. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned of catastrophic consequences if the nation defaulted on its debt. The U.S. had reached its $14.3 trillion debt limit in May, and Geithner had extended the deadline for raising the ceiling by three weeks. An agreement was reached on Jul. 31.