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.
Credit Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP/Getty Images
Anti-riot police clash with Greek demonstrators in Athens in October during a protest against deeper austerity cuts, as the debt crisis in Greece and the rest of Europe intensified this year.
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.
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 lots 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.