The Year U.S. Debt Beat Gold

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The economy doesn't care about the calender, but journalists and readers do. So, although December 30 is no better time to lift up and take stock of the last 12 months than any other day of the year, it's around this time that we get the best, most complete summaries of the state of the economy.

Take, for example, this wonderful round-up of investments in 2011, via Suzy Khimm. It crystallizes one of the 2011's most angst-inducing facts for liberals. In a year where the Federal Reserve worried about inflation, Congress worried about the deficit, and nobody in government seemed to put equal energy into job-creation, the 2011's best bet was debt. In a year where Bill Gross fled bonds and goldbugs kept up their chirping, investment in U.S. bonds paid off better than gold.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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