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FameEX Hot Topics | ECB Chief Lagarde Sounds Alarm on Potential Catastrophe from US Debt Default

2023-04-19 11:12:40

The United States, an economic superpower, is currently burdened with a staggering $31 trillion in debt held by government and intragovernmental holding entities. This debt has increased exponentially over the last two decades and has led to talks of the government defaulting on its interest and principal payments to foreign investors, foreign governments, and other entities. At the beginning of this year, Janet Yellen, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, announced that the Treasury would need to take "extraordinary measures" to pay its debts. However, she warned that the funds would be "exhausted before early June."

If Congress fails to change its approach, the U.S. government may be unable to pay interest and principal to specific lenders by summer. Yellen's extraordinary measures provided the U.S. with approximately $800 billion, and the government expects a substantial amount of funding from taxpayers, which is anticipated to last until June. The president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, expressed confidence in the U.S. government's ability to manage its finances. Nevertheless, she cautioned about the catastrophic consequences if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations. In an interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation," Lagarde remarked, "I simply cannot believe that they would allow such a major, major disaster to occur with the United States defaulting on its debt. It is not possible. I cannot believe it would happen. If it did, it would have a very negative impact not only in this country, where confidence would be challenged, but also around the world."

Economist Paul Krugman has also issued a warning about the possibility of the U.S. defaulting on its debt, stating that it would likely occur because of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives' refusal to raise the debt ceiling. In his most recent opinion editorial, Krugman asked, "Who will trust the currency of a nation that appears to have politically lost its mind?" He continued, "If that happens, the threat to the dollar's reserve-currency status will be the least of our problems." Lagarde also addressed the competition between the U.S. and China, which has intensified recently. She believes that healthy competition is beneficial and can lead to modernization. Lagarde stated, "There is undoubtedly a competition between these major economies. The U.S. is the first economy in the world. China is clearly competing and is putting all forces into that competition. I think competition is healthy. It has to stimulate innovation. It has to stimulate productivity. But it's inevitable that these two large economies are facing each other."

In conclusion, the U.S. government's inability to pay its debts would have severe and far-reaching consequences. It would not only impact confidence within the country but also negatively affect the global economy. With the deadline for the U.S. to pay its debts fast approaching, it remains to be seen how Congress will address this issue and whether or not they will be able to reach a resolution in time.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for informational purposes only, doesn't represent any investment advice or FameEX's official view.

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