Foreign governments continue to increase their purchases of U.S. government debt despite concerns over the fiscal cliff and the government's continued profligate spending.

All the chairman of the Federal Reserve has done in his latest announcement of a new bond-buying program is give himself and his Federal Open Market Committee permission to buy government bonds forever.

Despite his firm defense of his call that the U.S. economy entered into another recession in July this year, Lakshman Achuthan of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) continued to be scorned by his critics.

But his call was shown to be on the mark when the National Federation of Independent Business issued its Optimism Index today and noted that it decreased an astonishing 5.6 points to 87.5, the lowest reading since March of 2010 and the biggest monthly drop going back to 1986.

 

Calling it “unexpected,” Reuters reported that the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from the Institute for Supply Management for November fell to its lowest level in over three years. A poll of economists by Reuters showed they didn't see it coming.

The decline in the purchasing power of the dollar has finally caught up with the U.S. Mint, which is planning to remove pennies and nickels from circulation. Also, the GAO wants the United States to stop printing paper one-dollar bills and to switch instead to one-dollar coins.

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