With the deadline to raise the debt ceiling just three days away and negotiations between members of Congress at a stalemate, international financial leaders at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund this weekend warned about the “massive disruption” a continued shutdown and debt default would have on the world economy.
Representatives from more than two dozen countries met in Washington D.C. over the weekend to discuss international recovery and other fiscal problems, but the meeting was dominated by talk of the debt deadline. "They found out that the debt ceiling was the issue,” Christine Lagarde, the IMF's managing director, told NBC's Meet the Press. “They found out that the government had shut down and that there was no remedy in sight.”
The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, released a statement saying the “fiscal standoff has to be resolved without delay,” and Baudouin Prot, the chairman of France's BNP Paribas, said “the consequences of [not raising the debt ceiling] would be absolutely disastrous.”
Two of the United States' most important partners, China and Saudi Arabia, urged Congress to reach a deal before the deadline.
Fahad Almubarak, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, said “urgent political agreements on budget and debt issues are necessary to preserve and, indeed, reinforce the modest recovery.” And Yi Gang, an official with China’s central bank, said the fiscal uncertainties “must be addressed promptly.”
And Jim Yong Kim, the director of the World Bank, said a failure to raise debt limits would significantly affect the world's poorer countries. “The closer we get to the deadline the greater the impact will be for the developing world,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, two of the politicians most responsible for the current shutdown, demonstrated on Sunday what their true priorities are: Pandering to the Republican Party's base by gathering with Confederate flag-waving protestors most concerned about the closed WWII monument (as opposed to, you know, something actually important) and giving speeches with people who pleaded for President Obama to “put the Koran down.”
[Image via AP]