WASHINGTON: Stock markets fell on day as the federal government shutdown entered its seventh day with no end in sight and the prospect of a US default loomed.
Lawmakers appeared to be making little headway in raising the US debt ceiling, after the top Republican in Congress ruled out any measure to boost the nation’s borrowing authority without concessions from PresidentBarack Obama.
The US must increase its debt ceiling by October 17 or face the possibility of defaulting on its debts, a move that would shake the global economy and financial markets.
Most analysts believe a deal between Republicans in Congress and theWhite House to avoid default would be reached together in time, but investors are nervous.
Treasury secretary Jack Lew warned on Sunday that the budget brinkmanship was “playing with fire” and implored Congress to pass legislation to re-open the government and increase the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt limit. Lew reiterated that Obama has no intention to link either bill to Republican demands for spending cuts and changes in the 3-year-old health care law.
A defiant John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, insisted that Obama must negotiate if the president wants to end the shutdown and avert a default that could trigger a financial crisis and recession that would echo 2008 or worse. The 2008 financial crisis plunged the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Agencies
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