U.S. Risks ‘Plunging World’ Into New Financial Crisis (Die Zeit, Germany)
Is there any truth to the notion that it would be no big deal if the U.S. Congress failed to lift the debt ceiling? According to Die Zeit columnist Christoph von Marschall, the world is cowering in fear over the fact that there are some U.S. lawmakers who fail to acknowledge the catastrophe of such an unprecedented event.
For Die Zeit, Christoph von Marschall writes in part:
The clock is ticking relentlessly. If Congress doesn’t act, in three weeks the United States may not be able to pay all of its bills. The government will then have to decide whether it should stop interest payments on loans and go into default, cease paying social security benefits or furlough government employees. Stock markets would probably respond with shock. The entire world would feel the consequences. Never before has the largest free market on earth had to explain its incapacity to cover its debts.
That’s the frightening thing about America’s 2011 “summer theater.” We can no longer take for granted that politicians will do the obvious. Don’t they see the harm they are conjuring up? Seen from abroad, this seems like reckless behavior to say the least. Republicans and Democrats both insist on maximalist ideological positions, thus risking plunging the world into a new financial crisis.
In the end, Republicans and Democrats will probably reach a consensus. But we can’t be sure. There remains a residual risk that ideology will triumph responsibility.
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