News / Economy

US Debt Crisis Likely to Hurt World's Lenders, Borrowers, Investors

US Debt Crisis Likely to Hurt World's Lenders, Borrowers, Investorsi
X
October 05, 2013 12:19 AM
While official Washington remains preoccupied with a government shutdown, many experts are more concerned about another looming crisis. The U.S. Treasury Department says the government will run out of money to pay its bills by October 17 unless President Barack Obama and Congress agree to allow the government borrow more money. As VOA’s Kent Klein reports, the impact would be felt by borrowers, lenders and investors around the world.

US Debt Crisis Likely to Hurt World's Lenders, Borrowers, Investors

Kent Klein
While official Washington remains preoccupied with a government shutdown, many experts are more concerned about another looming crisis. The U.S. Treasury Department says the government will run out of money to pay its bills by October 17 unless President Barack Obama and Congress agree to allow the government borrow more money. The impact  would be felt by borrowers, lenders and investors around the world.

Five years ago, at the start of the Great Recession, investors raced to sell off their stocks, causing share prices to dive.

Today, retirees and investors like Paxton Baker are hoping to avoid another hit if the government defaults on its obligations. “I mean, I am a federal retiree. I depend on the government for my monthly annuity, and if they do not do that, I am probably not going to get paid next month,” he said.

Baker belongs to an investment club. He and his colleagues plan to withstand uncertainty by investing in stocks for the long term.

“Certainly, there would be an impact on investments, but I think we feel overall that stocks will continue to be a good place to put your money,” said Baker.

Sheila Cheek is an advisor with Edward Jones Investments. She is telling her clients to look at the long term.

“It may take time or it could be a quick recourse. But once again, keeping the long-range investment goals in mind will help you to smooth over a lot of the short-term volatilities,” she said.

A Treasury Department report says a default could freeze credit markets, devalue the dollar, send interest rates higher and possibly cause another recession.

That would drive international investors away from the U.S., according to economist Stan Collender. “All they know is, this solid rock of an economy, solid rock of a political system, seems to be shaking. And that has got to drop your confidence. It means that, if they are counting on the money to be repaid at the right time also, they may just say, ‘You know what, it is not worth the risk,’” said Collender.

To avoid a calamity, Congress needs to agree to raise the nation's debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans are demanding concessions from Democrats on spending and health care first.

"I do not believe that we should default on our debt. It is not good for our country. But after 55 years of spending more than what you bring in, something ought to be addressed," said Boehner.

Obama says he will not even discuss it. "There will be no negotiations over this. The American people are not pawns in some political game."

The damage from a default could last a long time, said Joseph Minarik at the Committee for Economic Development. "In all likelihood, that will affect the esteem with which lenders perceive the U.S. Treasury for a very long period of time. Trust, once it is lost, is very hard to regain."

Minarik and others are urging the nation's leaders to avert a crisis. "Don't do this," he said.

Meanwhile, Baker and his fellow investors are working to protect their assets in case the government fails them.

You May Like

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.