30 July 2013 Last updated at 00:58

Who first called it a 'fiscal cliff'?Sign for cliff

The phrase is now part of the American lexicon, to describe a so-called economic catastrophe looming when tax cuts expire and spending cuts kick in. But where did the term come from and is it a good metaphor?

Our Experts

Robert Peston, economics editor Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

The agony and ecstasy of UK recovery

The prospect of an interest rate rise before the general election has receded sharply, says the Bank of England's chief economist - who warns growth may be low and disappointing over the very long term.

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Stephanie Flanders, Economics editor Article written by Stephanie Flanders Stephanie Flanders Former economics editor

So it's goodbye from me

After 11 years at the BBC, I'm leaving for a new role in the City.

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Expert Views

  • Paul MasonPaul Mason

    The economics editor of Newsnight gives his take on the economic turmoil

  • Gavin HewittGavin Hewitt

    Views and analysis from the BBC's europe editor

Crisis jargon buster
Use the dropdown for easy-to-understand explanations of key financial terms:
The best credit rating that can be given to a borrower's debts, indicating that the risk of borrowing defaulting is miniscule.

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