The markets did pretty much as analysts expected as the debt ceiling debate still grinds away in Washington, D.C.: stock markets fell and gold hit a record high this morning. From The Wall Street Journal: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 72 points in recent action, or 0.6%, to 12609, though the measure was off the lows it hit in volatile early trading that sent the blue-chip index down by as much as 145 points."

Meanwhile, gold-hoarders are still doing just fine, as the precious metal reached another record high last night: "Gold prices vaulted to a record $1,624.30 a troy ounce shortly after electronic trading opened Sunday night as buyers in Asia leapt at the chance to protect their wealth from rising uncertainty," The Journal writes.

Inevitably, all the market trembling led the International Monetary Fund this morning to issue a statement saying the U.S. needs to get its act together, "raise the debt ceiling quickly and get its debts under control for the sake of the global economy," reports Reuters. And, in response to those Standard & Poors and Moody's credit rating threats, an analyst for ING Investment Management tells The Journal a not very comforting thing: "No one really knows what a downgrade means."