‘The US Is Holding the Whole World Hostage’ - SPIEGEL
With no solution to the US debt crisis in sight, the rest of the world is starting to get nervous. German commentators urge congressional leaders to get their act together. A US default would have catastrophic consequences, they warn.
Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are threatening to downgrade the country’s debt amid fears of a national insolvency. But for once it is not a debt-stricken euro-zone member that has come into the crosshairs of the powerful rating agencies. This time it is the United States, the world’s largest economy, that is at risk of going bust .
The US needs to raise its debt ceiling, currently set at $14.3 trillion (€10.1 trillion), by Aug. 2, otherwise the country will run out of money. But negotiations between President Barack Obama and top Republicans and Democrats have so far failed to make progress.
Obama has now given congressional leaders until Saturday morning to reconsider their positions. “It’s decision time. We need concrete plans to move this forward,” Obama said on Thursday, the fifth day of talks, following an inconclusive negotiating session.