Happy Sunday – and welcome to the best of The Conversation.

First, here are some of our recently published stories:

You probably read a few headlines last week about how President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are negotiating to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Here’s just one headline from The New York Times on Friday: Debt Limit Talks Hit Snag as G.O.P. Declares a ‘Pause.’

But leaders of America’s banks aren’t just sitting idly by waiting to see if the politicians can put together a deal, writes John W. Diamond, director of the Center for Public Finance at Rice University. In one of our most-read stories last week, Diamond lays out a few of the ways the biggest banks and financial regulators are preparing for a potential default on U.S. debt, including convening war rooms and planning speedy bailouts.

Later this week, we’ll bring you stories about how employers are using big data in hiring and promoting employees, research on how cities should govern themselves at night and why Buddha has five different birthdays around the world. Until then, enjoy your Sunday.

Emily Costello

Managing Editor

‘Default doomscrolling’ again, Mr. Powell? Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP

War rooms and bailouts: How banks and the Fed are preparing for a US default – and the chaos expected to follow

John W. Diamond, Rice University

Major players in the financial system are pondering the unthinkable as the US inches closer to an unprecedented default.

Editors' picks

A casual stroll on the beach can leave enough intact DNA behind to extract identifiable information. Comezora/Moment via Getty Images

You shed DNA everywhere you go – trace samples in the water, sand and air are enough to identify who you are, raising ethical questions about privacy

Jenny Whilde, University of Florida; Jessica Alice Farrell, University of Florida

Environmental DNA provides a wealth of information for conservationists, archaeologists and forensic scientists. But the unintentional pickup of human genetic information raises ethical questions.

News Quiz 🧠

  • The Conversation U.S. weekly news quiz

    Test your knowledge with a weekly quiz drawn from some of our favorite stories. Questions this week on renaming military bases, a 75th anniversary, a $14 trillion pricetag and bees.

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