Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

How US Debt Default Would Affect Global Economy, Financial Markets

How US Debt Default Would Affect Global Economy, Financial Markets

Biden has maintained that default would have "catastrophic" consequences, and is urging Republicans to agree to a "clean" increase to US borrowing limits -- known as the debt ceiling -- before the deadline is reached.
President Joe Biden and Republicans in Congress have resumed crunch talks aimed at averting a damaging US debt default, which Treasury officials recently warned could come as early as June 1.

Biden has maintained that default would have "catastrophic" consequences, and is urging Republicans to agree to a "clean" increase to US borrowing limits -- known as the debt ceiling -- before the deadline is reached.

Republicans have pushed back, insisting they want an agreement from Democrats to commit to less spending in future in order for their support to extend the nation's borrowing authority.

Here is what could happen in the United States, and around the world, if the US fails to raise the debt ceiling:

What would it mean for financial markets?

If the Treasury is unable to meet all of its financial obligations, analysts forecast that US stock markets would likely suffer a sharp, temporary shock.

Along with a decline in US stocks, interest rates would spike, especially Treasury yields and mortgage rates, Moody's Analytics economist Bernard Yaros told AFP.

"That would lead to higher borrowing costs for consumers, for corporations," he said.

Households or businesses who fail to receive federal payments owed would likely pull back on near-term spending due to their loss of income, while consumer confidence may worsen, hurting the economy, Yaros said.

But any shocks are expected to be short-lived, with politicians likely to respond forcefully to any meaningful market reaction.

"I also would expect that once the deal's done the markets bounce back," Citigroup Global Chief Economist Nathan Sheets told AFP.

"I don't think that this episode is likely to be sufficiently long-lived that we should be calculating lower GDP forecasts," he said.

What would it mean for government?

Even if the United States misses the so-called X-date -- when the government runs out of money to meet all its financial obligations -- it will still have options.

It could, for instance, choose to prioritize debt repayment and delay other payments -- such as to federal agencies, Social Security beneficiaries, or Medicare providers.

This is the most likely scenario, according to Wendy Edelberg, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.

During a similar debt ceiling stand-off in 2011, Treasury officials drew up contingency plans to prevent a default on Treasury securities, and to ensure the Treasury would continue to pay interest on those securities as they come due.

A government shutdown would be unlikely, although federal workers' paychecks could be delayed, Edelberg said.

What would it mean for global economy?

Even if the US misses the X-date but continues repaying investors, the consequences of the political failure to reach agreement would likely ripple through global markets.

The government's inability to pay all its bills "would raise serious doubts about the nation's creditworthiness, sap the confidence of lenders, call into question the dollar's place as a reserve currency, and increase federal borrowing costs," Paul Van de Water from the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote in a recent blog post.

"Under the present circumstances, even the serious threat of a US default could be enough to roil markets and further damage the global economy," he said.

In the unlikely event of a default, the consequences would be substantial, according to Eric Dor, director of economic studies at IESEG business school in France.

"The interest rates charged by investors on bonds issued by the United States would rise sharply," as would private debt, which uses US government debt as a benchmark, he said.

"This increase in the cost of credit would cause a drop in business and household investment, as well as in consumption, and thus a sharp recession in the United States," Dor continued, adding it could also cause a recession in Europe and elsewhere.

"A default would destabilize the global financial system, which depends on the stability of the dollar as the world's safe asset and primary reserve currency," Jean Ross from the nonpartisan Center for American Progress wrote in a recent article.

"A loss of confidence in the dollar could have far reaching economic and foreign policy ramifications, as other countries, particularly China, would use default to push for their currency to serve as the foundation of global trade," she said.

Could US debt be downgraded?

As the X-date draws closer, investors are nervously watching the ratings agencies for signs of a possible downgrade to US debt.

This last happened back in 2011, when a similar debt ceiling stand-off led ratings agency S&P to lower its US credit rating from AAA to AA+, drawing bipartisan outrage.

Even if the United States hits the debt ceiling but continues paying its bills, the ratings agencies will likely take note, according to Nathan Sheets from Citi, underscoring the need for a negotiated agreement ahead of time.

"Debates about whether or not you pay occurring periodically is typically not a feature that you would associate with a top credit" rating, he said.
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Unelected PM of the UK holds an emergency meeting because a candidate got voted in… which he says is a threat to democracy…
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
×