World leaders press the U.S. on fiscal crisis

The New York Times: Leaders at World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings on Sunday pleaded, warned and cajoled: the United States must raise its debt ceiling and reopen its government or risk "massive disruption the world over," as Christine Lagarde, the fund's managing director, put it. The fiscal problems of the United States overshadowed the official agendas for the meetings, with representatives from dozens of countries - including two of Washington's most important economic partners, Saudi Arabia and China - publicly expressing worries about what was happening on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

 

Goldman's chief economist: shutdown could cut GDP growth to 2 percent

Marketwatch: Goldman Sach's chief economist has laid just how much of a hit the U.S. economy will take from the shutdown mess. In a note that published after the markets closed on an optimistic high note on Friday, Jan Hatzius said the shutdown effects are two pronged. Still, Hatzius summed it up. "Overall, this implies downside risk of around 0.5pp to our forecast of 2.5 percent real GDP growth in Q4, but we don't expect the effect to become entirely clear until an agreement has been reached."

 

Paying more for chocolate? You will be

CNNMoney: Chocolate lovers beware! The price of your favorite treat is on the rise.

Growing demand in emerging markets and bad weather in major cocoa producing countries is pushing up the cost of key ingredients, leaving manufacturers little choice but to pass on some of that pain to consumers. The price of cocoa butter, for example, stands at a four-year high, having risen by 70% over the past 12 months, according to Mintec commodity consultant Liliana Gonzalez. And the production cost of an average milk chocolate bar has surged by 25 percent over the same period, she wrote in a report for British trade magazine The Grocer.