Perhaps the most sobering economic article in Sunday's Times, among much sobering financial section news, was not an article at all.

On page A21 a full-page warning, superimposed over the image of an iceberg, ran compliments of the Pete Peterson Foundation. "$56 Trillion," a looming figure that overshadows all the sums included in the stimulus bill, was announced as the United States' obligations in unfunded retirement, health care and "reliance on foreign lenders." Per the lenders, the foundation was doubtlessly refering to China which holds billions in US treasury notes and could move icebergs, mountains, and the foundation of the world economy if and when it decides to leverage them. Foundation Chair Pete Peterson elaborated on his concerns for the US economy when he sat down with Big Think.