The Treasury Department has set October 17 as the deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.
In one corner, Republicans have outlined their demands for a bill — including tax reform and a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act. Then there’s President Obama, who has said the debt ceiling is simply non-negotiable.
So that’s where we are.
“Make no mistake — this will become a genuine crisis, far more ominous than the threat of a government shut-down,” writes Potomac Research Group’s Greg Valliere.
Here’s how Valliere puts it in a new note to clients:
THE END GAME is not in sight — anyone who tells you they know exactly how this will turn out is lying. The options are mind-boggling. Could Treasury default? Highly unlikely, but the threat will grow. Could Treasury have to prioritise its payments? Officials say they won’t, which means they will play the Social Security card — good luck to the GOP explaining why grandma might not get her monthly check. Could the President raise the debt ceiling by executive authority? If default is imminent, we do not rule out this option.
“The debt ceiling crisis will become very real very soon — a genuine headwind for the economy as investors and businesses and consumers get a bad case of the jitters,” Valliere concludes.