Hard Numbers

11 billion: The shutdown that closed parts of the US federal government cost the US $11 billion in December and January, according to an initial estimate by the Congressional Budget Office. While some economic activity will rebound as government workers get back pay, the CBO estimated that around $3 billion of the loss may be unrecoverable.

500 million: Two years after the launch of a Saudi-led trade and travel embargo, Qatar is stepping backonto the global stage. The Gulf state recently extended $500 million of financial support to Lebanon. It's also recently hosted the leaders of Pakistan and Sudan, as well as US-Taliban peace talks.

64: There are many signs to suggest globalization is slowing: global goods trade, the profit share of multinational corporations, and foreign direct investment have all fallen over the past decade. But during the same period, the volume of data crossing international borders has increased 64-fold, according to McKinsey.

6: In the past year, the US fell 6 spots on Transparency International's Corruptions Perception Index, a survey of how publics view their governments. The US now ranks 22nd below France, the UK, and Japan.

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