If US Defaults On Its Debt, What Happens To World Economy

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said that if the US defaults on its debt, no corner of the global economy will be spared.

If the debt crisis roiling Washington were eventually to send the United States crashing into recession, America’s economy would hardly sink alone.

The repercussions of a first-ever default on the federal debt would quickly reverberate around the world. Orders for Chinese factories that sell electronics to the United States could dry up. Swiss investors who own U.S. Treasurys would suffer losses. Sri Lankan companies could no longer deploy dollars as an alternative to their own dodgy currency.

“No corner of the global economy will be spared” if the U.S. government defaulted and the crisis weren’t resolved quickly, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Zandi and two colleagues at Moody’s have concluded that even if the debt limit were breached for no more than week, the U.S. economy would weaken so much, so fast, as to wipe out roughly1.5 million jobs.

And if a government default were to last much longer — well into the summer — the consequences would be far more dire, Zandi and his colleagues found in their analysis: U.S. economic growth would sink, 7.8 million American jobs would vanish, borrowing rates would jump, the unemployment rate would soar from the current 3.4% to 8% and a stock-market plunge would erase $10 trillion in household wealth.

Of course, it might not come to that. The White House and House Republicans, seeking a breakthrough, concluded a round of debt-limit negotiations Sunday, with plans to resume talks Monday. The Republicans have threatened to let the government default on its debts by refusing to raise the statutory limit on what it can borrow unless President Joe Biden and the Democrats accept sharp spending cuts and other concessions.

A new study published in the journal Science has warned that El Nino could wipe out $3 trillion of the world’s economy.

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