Standard & Poor's famously downgrades its rating of U.S. debt for the first time on Aug. 4. Investors pull out of equities and park their proceeds in ... U.S. Treasury bonds.

The European debt crisis rises to epic proportions. Investors pull out of other fixed-income products and put their cash in ... U.S. Treasury bonds. Particularly since they notice that former Goldman Sachs chief and New Jersey governor Jon Corzine's big bet on foreign bonds led to the collapse of his would-be-big-bank MF Global.

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